Communication Employee Engagement Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement

Organizational Culture II

We started by telling you about what organizational culture is about and the challenges that follow it. We will be sharing other aspects of organizational culture today.

Elements of Organizational Culture

Purpose: Most young professionals want to be a part of solving a problem greater than themselves, so they need to understand the “why” of what they do. A strong mission statement can help a company articulate its’ “why”.

Ownership: Ownership refers to the practice of allowing people to be accountable for their results without requiring micromanagement, but giving people the autonomy on their own time to accomplish goals.

Managers can set overall expectations and allow people to build their own schedules around their projects. But how do you keep people engaged with a sense of purpose? Well, you do that through the third element: community.

Community: This is that sense of belonging to a group of people that shares similar principles, goals, and values. A community is a place where there is camaraderie and building community can be as simple as hosting company events, designating specific hangout times, and even planning team trips. 

Effective Communication: Effective communication which sounds like a necessity in most organization is not such a common practice. It means ensuring consistency in processes and investing time to learn the personalities and communication dynamics of team members.

Google did a research project called Project Aristotle, where they found that the most collaborative teams are the ones where everyone speaks equally and often interacts with one another.

Within many of their teams, they count to be certain that everyone is speaking the same number of times during their meetings. How people interact in a team is just as important as who is on the team.

Effective Leadership: This is the backbone of the cultural dynamics of any organization. The leader must constantly push the mission, vision, standards, community, and processes of the company. Without effective leadership, the other four elements cannot thrive.

People want leadership with integrity and compassion, they want authenticity, people want a leader who is clear on expectations and cares about them. Research shows that most people would work for an employer who is more empathic more than the one which is about results no matters the means used in achieving it.

 It all comes down to being intentional about creating a company that will not only be successful in the long-term but aslo successful.

How to Improve Organizational Culture

1. Listen to your Employees

Provide your employees with an environment to enable them to air their opinion. Research showed that:

  • 75% of employees would stay longer at an organization that listens to and addresses their concerns
  • 65% of employees who are actively disengaged feel this way because they cannot approach their manager with any type of question.
2. Collaborate, Don’t Isolate

Encourage collaboration between employees to reinforce the idea that you are a team. Your learning management system should be equipped with a vibrant social feed in which learners can offer support to each other, and overcome challenges together.

3. Be Transparent

Transparency with your employees is a way of building trust. Weekly updates about what is happening at a corporate level will inspire your team.

4. Follow the Leader

Organizational culture needs to be nurtured. And, culture starts at the very top of the ladder!

Leaders need to visibly demonstrate that they are in alignment with the organization’s core beliefs.  

5. Provide Regular Feedback

Employees need regular feedback if they are to align their performance with your organizational culture.

Appraise the behaviour that matches your values and develop areas that need improvement. Keep on top of things with regular reporting and you’ll soon be working in collaborative teams.

6. Lay Down a Challenge

Provide challenge and opportunity for development as this allows your employees to know you are invested in them, and in turn, be loyal to your organizational culture.

7. Reward Employees

Reward employees for actions that best represent the organizational culture that you seek.  A recognition culture will also reduce turnover, giving your organizational culture longevity.

Organizational Culture Workplace Engagement

Organizational Culture

We know that culture is a way of life of a group of people in every system and in the same vein, we can say organizational culture is the way that organization defines organizational culture as the proper way to behave within the organization. This culture consists of shared beliefs and values established by leaders and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping employee perceptions, behaviours and understanding.

The key to a successful organizational culture is to have a culture based on a strong shared set of beliefs and values that are supported by strategy and structure.

When an organization has a strong culture, three things happen:

  • Employees know how top management wants them to respond to any situation,
  • Demonstration of an organization’s value system is to reward
  • Employees believe that the expected response is the proper one.

So what are those beliefs, habits, values, routines that contribute to the work process in an organization?

HR has a vital role in ensuring a strong culture, starting with recruiting and selection of applicants who will share the organization’s beliefs and thrive in that culture.

HR also in charge of developing orientation, training and performance management programs that outline and reinforces the organization’s core values; and ensures that appropriate rewards and recognition go to employees who truly embody the values.

When the workplace culture aligns with your employees, they’re more likely to feel more comfortable, supported, and valued. It is believed that if organizational culture is going to improve the organization’s overall performance, the culture must provide a strategic competitive advantage.

A strong culture is a common denominator among the most successful companies.

Levels of Organizational Culture

In the 1980s, psychologist Edgar Schein of the Sloan School of Management developed a model for understanding and analyzing organizational culture. Schein divided an organization’s culture into three distinct levels: artifacts, values, and assumptions.

Artifacts: are the overt and obvious elements of an organization. They’re typically the things even an outsider can see, such as wallpapers and mantras. Artifacts can be easy to observe but difficult to understand, especially if your analysis of culture never goes any deeper.

Values: These are an organization’s declared set of standards and rules. Values affect how employees interact and represent the organization.

Assumptions:  are the bedrock of organizational culture. These are the beliefs and behaviours that are deeply embedded that they can go unnoticed sometimes.

Basic assumptions are the essence of culture and the aligned line that values and artifacts square themselves against. Basic assumptions manifest themselves in a variety of ways; But when these assumptions don’t align with the organizational values, trouble arises.

Reasons Why Organizational Culture is Important

  • It defines your company’s internal and external identity
  • Organizational culture is about living your company’s core values
  • Your culture can transform employees into advocates (or critics)
  • A strong organizational culture helps you keep your best people
  • Your culture transforms your company into a team

Types of Organizational Culture

According to Robert E. Quinn and Kim S. Cameron, at the University of Michigan Arbor, there are four types of organizational culture: Clan, Adhocracy, Market, and Hierarchy.

  • Clan oriented cultures are family-like cultures with a focus on mentoring, nurturing, and “doing things together.”
  • Adhocracy oriented cultures are dynamic and entrepreneurial, with a focus on risk-taking, innovation, and “doing things first.”
  • Market-oriented cultures are results-oriented; with a focus on competition, achievement, and “getting the job done.”
  • Hierarchy oriented cultures are structured and controlled, with a focus on efficiency, stability and “doing things right.”

There’s no correct organizational culture for any organization. All cultures promote some forms of behaviour and inhibit others. While some are suited to rapid and repeated change, others are to slow incremental development of the institution.

For example, Quinn and Cameron associated the lower two cultures (Market and Hierarchy) with a principal focus on stability and the upper two (Clan and Adhocracy) with flexibility and adaptability.

An organization who uses a Hierarchy culture-based culture will focus more on the control which leads mainly to incremental change; while a focus on Adhocracy will typically lead to more breakthrough change.

The right culture for an organization will be one that fits the direction; and strategy of the organization as it confronts issues and the challenges.

Challenges That Affect Organizational Culture. 

  • Employee Diversity: Employee Diversity is one of the challenges of organizational culture. It is very common to see a diverse field of employees in an organization. As this diversity is an added advantage in every company, it may also have an effect on the culture of the organization.
  • Internal Irregularities: It is essential to know that an organization who is continually changing its internal rules and regulations is likely to motivate its employees. The structure of an organization does not need to change irrespective of management.
  • Company culture must not be irregular in order to allow employees to truly feel like we can be ourselves; after all, how would it be possible to engage and motivate employees if the overall vision of an organization is constantly changing?

However, constant reinforcement of organizational culture does not mean that it can’t be improved; On the contrary, tailor your organizational culture to adapt to the situation; rather than being selective and changing due to certain factors.