The need for organizational culture has been in discussion in academics, research, and management for ages. There has been a wide range of perspectives on the meaning of culture and ways to measure it. Culture relates to the ideas, rituals, skills, arts, etc. of a group of people over some time.
“Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play,” – Richard Branson.
The strongest component of the work culture is the belief and attitude of employees. The employees are the ones who make up the culture and the organization’s performance will be reflected in those beliefs. It is an adhesive bond that holds the organization together and provides directions to the people working out there.
Why we need an organizational culture?
Let us focus on the importance of organizational culture.
Identification (Brand image) Culture contributes to the identification of the mission and values of your organization and thus creating the brand image of the organization. No two organizations are the same. It is their work culture that makes them distinct from each other. An organization is represented by its culture.
Attracting Talent The market is full of talent and a wrong move can let you lose the best one. One of the research studies has found talent attraction and retention to be highly associated with an effective organizational culture. For instance, the one who is making necessary amendments and developing attractive recruiting policies from time to time would help the organization to engage the best talent.
Employee wellbeing One of the reports published by the World Economic Forum and consultancy Right Management has found that wellbeing is as much shaped by employee engagement as by his/her physical and mental health. A work culture that promotes wellbeing is more likely to have significant improvements in employees’ work performance. Toxic and stress-filled workplaces affect social relationships and, consequently, employee’s performance.
A sense of unity Success of any organization depends on the teamwork, whether it’s a start-up with 20-30 employees or an organization with a bigger workforce, it is strengthened by its unity and workforce diversity. Employees who are otherwise from different backgrounds, families, organizational culture provide a sense of unity like everyone has to step into office at the same time. The same rules and regulations are to be followed by each one of them.
How to cultivate an effective organizational culture
Selection of Right People
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”
The selection of the right people seems to be an easy task but it’s not, one has to look beyond a CV. A problem solver and an efficient worker is often the best choice. This involves critically examining their references, experience, and asking pertinent questions to get an idea of their capabilities and work ethics.
They should be passionate about their work. Such a person will not go right away into action but he/she will think for possible alternatives and will come with the best solution.
Let us take a simple example, if we are conducting research using a questionnaire as a tool, we will be handing over the print of that questionnaire to each subject of our study but the best way to do that would be sending the questionnaire in the form of e-mail.
Resources A workplace that values an employee should provide access to the skills, information, and technology needed for staff to engage in a learning culture. This avenue requires investing resources to develop an organizational learning infrastructure, including staff capacity.
Now, the question arises on how to do that?
This can be achieved by investing in staff training programs that should be conducted in an organization from time to time targeting a wide range of skills.
Cost-effective ways should be included to design and implement professional development programs. Organizations should carefully think about providing a combination of group training and individual technical assistance to employees.
Flexibility Employees nowadays are interested to join those companies who provide flexibility in their work routine. There is a need to avoid conventional working strategies. The working conditions should be balanced and it shouldn’t become repetitive to work throughout the day.
For instance, employees can sometimes be given an option to work from home, conducting sports activities from time to time, apart from that weekly offs, bonus and other allowances can be given.
Ethics and core values Ethics is an integral part of an organization’s overall culture. Architecting an ethical organization requires systematically analyzing all aspects of the organization’s culture and arranging them so that they support ethical behavior and discourage unethical behavior.
Here, an important point is how to develop an ethical organization?
An organization needs to be built around a dynamic plan of action that includes the formulation of policy to clarify what is acceptable behavior. For this, the executive committee of the organization which is responsible for reporting and bringing to the attention of the organization breaches of standards, communicating the standard to those who will need to implement it, and finally resolving ethical dilemmas.
A research conducted by Buchholz identified seven mechanisms to institutionalize ethics including a code of ethics, ethics committees, judiciary boards, ethical ombudsmen, ethics training, social audits, and changes to corporate structure.
A final aspect of the basic underlying system of ethics is that they should be reviewed and audited at regular intervals for their effectiveness.
Open Communication Communication is one of the most important levers of management that a company can implement for the formation of teams and achieving valuable performance. It is an asset that is seen, on the one hand, as a series of products, services, brands, and performance, part of respecting the objectives of the organization and on the other hand even as personality.
Internal communication When we talk about internal communication, it aims to send, by audiences, suitable messages on which the organization wishes to serve in society.
To maintain effective internal communication, the Organization must inform, remind, announce projects, policies, actions, activities, etc., and for this, a periodic newsletter can be used and shared at regular intervals.
External communication As the name itself suggests external i.e. outside, communication management strategy, which any organization applies for communicating messages to the general public that takes into consideration the identity of the organization, the organization’s image, brand identity/brand, integrated campaigns. Through them, the organization/institution is known and it must inform all those interested in information about the activities and actions undertaken.