Why is Organizational Culture Counted Among the Most Valuable Resources of Every Company?
Every corporation, no matter how big or small in scale, is comprised of a substantial number of individuals who possess unique experience, attitudes, interests and ways of thinking. Such a diverse crowd is held together and given cohesive character by what we call organizational culture. As a concept, this unifying culture is represented through a set of underlying rules, practices and beliefs which all together guide the whole company towards a mutual goal, or more precisely – towards success. It is responsible both for directing the work and engagement of every employee individually and for bringing those individuals into a team, in order to maximize overall performance. Additionally, organizational culture has a key role of setting models of desired behavior in interpersonal relations.
Building a positive organizational culture requires active dedication from all employees. So, not only the board of directors, but every single person on the payroll is inevitably shaping their work surroundings. Commitment to a mutual goal will define a culture which is clear, acceptable and adequately adjusted for all.
There is a certain number of employers who use a copy-paste method of sorts, by trying to implement organizational culture of successful companies or one that has received positive feedback elsewhere into their own. However, just like no two persons are completely the same, cultures can’t be either. Moreover – there is no organizational culture that can be universally successful, since it is impacted by a multitude of factors such as the workforce, the stakeholders, and the nature of the business (industry, sector).
Typical workdays consist of a multitude of interactions, both with coworkers and persons outside of the company, including associates, clients and so on. Individual reactions of employees will inescapably be guided by internal procedures and codices, but also by their character and temperament. Nevertheless, clearly defined standards and patterns of behavior influence interpersonal relations in and outside of the company to a great extent. For example, many of us are familiar with the liberal culture seen in global giants such as Google and Microsoft. They nurture expertise and innovation without strict and conservative models and limitations in day-to-day behavior. Both companies are prime examples of how organizational culture can either open or close doors on the market. Such culture adds to Employer Branding, brings in top performers and leads to an outstanding reputation. What we get is a company which attracts users and clients while growing in the desired direction.
Besides influencing interpersonal relations, organizational culture impacts business results as well. Nowadays certainly, but even more so in the future, autocratic forms of management won’t receive positive feedback by generation Z, which will become the dominant population on the job market. In a healthy job environment, motivation of the workforce is the prerequisite for success. If expected models of behavior and work standards are unclear or contradictory it will have a detrimental effect on the workforce and their commitment to everyday tasks.
It doesn’t hurt to reiterate that creation and implementation of a positive organizational culture require the contribution of all employees on all levels. In order to create an appropriate culture we first need to identify our goals and values. The key lies in coordinating these two segments, and that is our step one. For step two, we need a clear plan regarding implementation and functioning of business processes. But, let’s not forget the building blocks of every organization – its people. We need to make sure that each person understands the vision, the mission, the values and the behavioral patterns we are aiming for. Only that way will our success be guaranteed.
There is a multitude of research data which outlines the importance of certain aspects as a foundation for a healthy and productive organizational culture.
- The purpose – even though common logic dictates that the biggest impact on satisfaction and dedication of employees lies in compensation, recent research disproves it. We are presented with data which demonstrates that employees thrive when provided with a feeling of purpose and understanding of their work contribution.
- The engagement – organizational culture must chiefly promote dedication. Despite all changes and technological advancements the dedication of the workforce is still the number one reason behind high performance and quality products/services. Companies with an engaging organizational culture measure an increase in quality of their products or services by up to 40% (Gallup, 2019).
- The development – organizations which nurture both personal and career development of their workforce have increased chances of becoming successful and competitive on the modern business market. New generations entering the business constantly demand to be given opportunities for growth and development instead of merely a ladder to climb.
- The communication – transparency in distribution of information essential for daily tasks and for the efficient functioning of company processes is crucial for all employees. If information is not communicated openly and plainly, the employees will take it as a lack of trust. This will result in decreased motivation and active demonstration of discontent.
- The leadership – last but not least is the way individual employees and teams are managed. Here, micromanagement and an autocratic style of leadership demonstrate their obvious inadequacies. On the opposite note, leaders who support their teams and rely on capability and experience of their workforce are both highly successful and greatly appreciated. By focusing on day-to-day communication with their employees and strengths instead of weaknesses, such leaders become pillars of successful organizational culture.
Even though it is true that implementing a desired organizational culture is a long term endeavor, its positive results are visible soon after the plan is put into action. Strive towards respecting your goals and values set. Reward those beneath you who contribute to success and lend a helping hand to all who don’t. Be persistent! Remember, it’s a long term endeavor but your success will be long term as well!