Culture is an organization's tacit social order: it forms attitudes and behaviours in broad and enduring ways. Hill and Jones (2009) define organisational culture as the collection of norms and values shared by people and groups in an organisation and that controls the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organisation.
Cultural norms describe what within a group is welcomed, discouraged, approved, or rejected. When properly aligned with personal values, drives, and needs, culture can unleash tremendous amounts of energy toward a shared purpose and foster an organization’s capacity to thrive.
Related: Examples of personal values
A company's organizational culture plays a vital role in its success. A company's culture helps it attract the best talent available in the industry. Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, through their beliefs, standards and objects, are considered to have a clear corporate culture recognizable. Culture today plays a major role in the organization's success and how prospective workers view the business as an employer.
Strong culture has almost been considered a driving force for enhancing employee efficiency. It increases employee self-confidence and engagement, reduces work tension, and increases employee ethical behaviour (Saffold, 1998). He further notes that often culture studies tend to emphasize a single culture of an organization. But in the Deal and Kennedy's (1982), both strong and weak culture point of view have a significant effect on the organizational behaviour but in the strong culture, the goals of the employee are side by side with the management goal and helpful in the overall organizational efficiency.
Organizational culture is considered strong where the majority of workers have the same type of beliefs and principles as the organization's concern. Organizational culture is assumed to be strong, with the majority of workers adopting the same kind of beliefs and values as the organization's concern (Deal and Kennedy, 1982). They agreed that managers should try to reduce the gap between employees to develop a strong relationship. Management also considered that employees are more important than rules in the organization.
Dasanayaka and Mahakalanda (2008), said that maximizing employee’s values are considered as rational assets that required culture to support their logical participation both for individual and organizational learning, new knowledge formation and readiness to share with others. Schein (1992), tells that organizational culture is very important today as compared with past.
Organizational culture is very useful to assist the sense-making process, helps the employees to understand the organizational events and objectives, which enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the employees.
Characteristics of organizational culture
- Coordination and integration of the organizational units to enhance work efficiency, quality and speed of designing, producing the goods and services
- Observed behavioural regularities, as illustrate the common language and formal procedures.
- Norms are determined by factors like the amount of work done, and also the degree of collaboration between the organization's management and workers.
- Rules are defined for employee’s behaviour associated with the productivity, intergroup cooperation and customer relationship.
Practitioners and academics suggested that the performance of an organization is dependent on the degree to which the values of the culture are comprehensively shared (Denison, 1990). To build a strong culture communication is an important part of transparency. Encourage questions, ideas, and feedback from all employees. Do not expect employees to always come to you on their own with questions or concerns. Instead, provide designated times and spaces for them to do so, such as an anonymous chat option or a Slack channel where open-ended discussion can thrive.
The culture of overwork is not a sustainable one. Employees won’t stay with a company that always expects them to sacrifice their health and happiness in exchange for long hours at work. Long hours may be necessary during crunch times. But at other times, encourage employees to keep work to stick to normal working hours and go home at the end of the day. Provide the time off they need to take care of personal matters.
Strict top-down management is not an aspect of a strong organizational culture. Your employees will thrive on trust and freedom, not micromanagement. Give guidelines for projects, but avoid unnecessary step-by-step guides. Remember that everyone works differently. Give people the freedom to challenge themselves, solve problems, and grow with the business. Employees will be happier and will stay longer and they will also produce much better work.
Thriving company culture takes establishing a core values statement that every employee knows verbatim and then living them. A culture can't thrive if it doesn't know the rules; it becomes a lawless society. This means everyone is on equal footing, so if an executive breaks a core value, anyone can call them out. Culture isn't built on hierarchy, it's built on behaviour that is a way of life.
Companies have vision statements, and goals, which are usually written down so they will not be forgotten. Oftentimes what isn't written down is the reason why the company exists. When building a dynamic company culture, make sure everyone understands why it is important for the company to exist. This reason fuels the passion that is needed to overcome the challenges that will arise.
Every employee in the organization has own different values and beliefs that he/she works with them. Whenever join any organization he/she allowed himself to internalize first with the organization’s culture to know whether he comes up with them or not. Culture is being investigated to impact the miscellany of the organizational process. Organizational culture has a deep impact on the performance of employees that can cause to improve in productivity and enhance organizational performance.
Keithley Tongai is a Consultant intern at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a business management and human resources consulting firm.
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