Organizational culture is a crucial workplace aspect. It influences how employees feel, think and behave. The pandemic has had a swift effect on the corporate interactions and so much more.
But what has put organisational culture in focus is the rapidity of changes in the work ecosystem. Organisational culture never changed as fast as it did in the recent years. Earlier, it only used to change over a period of time in response to a multitude of realisations.
HR needs to relook at the culture to understand how pandemic has impacted it. Because, employee satisfaction and productivity both are a reflection of it.
What is Organizational Culture?
Organizational culture is a set of norms, values, best practices, and expectations that determine how individuals and teams behave in a particular work situation. It encourages employees and provides a distinctive roadmap that workers can follow for the best results.
Research by Grant Thornton LLP and Oxford Economics shows that companies with a good culture are 1.5 times more likely to experience 15% revenue growth within 2-3 years. It is a common refrain of HR leaders that their companies could greatly benefit from a more employee-friendly culture.
Strive for Positive Organisational Culture
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Importance of a Strong Organizational Culture
The workplace culture impacts a business’s different aspects, such as deliverable output, employee engagement and performance, and even something as small as coming to work on time. A strong organizational culture is critical. Many organizations report having waded through a difficult time on the back of a healthy culture.
7 Characteristics of Positive Organizational Culture
Every organization’s culture is different, but some key characteristics help in culture transformation. Here is a list of mandatory 7 characteristics for your workplace-
An aligned organization is a high-performing organization.
The organization’s objectives and employee motivation pull in the same direction. However, there is a commonality and superior alignment between the company’s vision and mission and the employee’s goals. Furthermore, it helps the organizational culture to remain mission-centric.
Organizations without a corporate culture of gratitude don’t survive for long.
Companies that practice appreciation in rewards & recognition, or even a public vote of thanks have a better chance of becoming more robust. Here, employees are recognized for their contributions in terms of work and soft skills. Such organizations also have better retention for a long time.
A good organizational culture is built on trust.
In companies with a great culture, employees collaborate, guide, and support one another toward a common objective. Mutual consensus and agreement on how to take the work forward help to build trust. Workers work with a greater degree of empathy and team spirit.
Performance is a key metric in determining the efficacy of an organization’s culture.
High-performing organizations have workers with a firm commitment and work ethic toward achieving their goals. Talented employees motivate each other to excel and display high efficiency and productivity. Organizations that emphasize performance always remain at the forefront.
A resilient culture will teach leaders to respond easily to change.
Business environments are constantly changing and evolving. Under such circumstances, employees and the company must be resilient and quickly adapt to change. The ability to handle and manage change in a complex environment helps to ascertain the strength of an organization’s culture.
A good organizational culture thrives on teamwork.
In fact, without cooperation, an organization is bound to disintegrate. Collaborative cultures support and encourage collaboration, especially in large and complex projects. The partnership between two workers also encompasses mutual affection and respect between teammates. Further, teamwork promotes greater well-being and happiness among team members.
Integrity can make or break an organization’s culture.
Integrity makes people work together and rely on each other to complete tasks. Honesty and transparency are some of the essential ingredients of integrity and make up the critical component of an organization’s work culture. Integrity keeps the employee’s head high when work falls short or problems within the organization.
HR Role in Shaping Organisational Culture
HR leaders, and all the senior stakeholders act as change agents in building a robust culture. There must be a seamless understanding between them and alignment on the way forward. So let’s take a look at how HR can exactly shape culture-
1. Conduct Regular Feedback
HR leaders must adopt the right listening tools to take feedback from their employees. Pulse surveys and workplace chatbots help employees to come forth with their grievances and what is not working within the organization. It is then essential to act on these findings and act while the problems are still relevant.
According to a survey, 68% of employees who can give and receive feedback report feeling happier and more satisfied with their jobs. Subtle feedback expressions may be challenging to interpret, and HR leaders must gauge and understand these adequately.
2. Ensure Employee-Friendly Policies
Suitable processes, norms, regulations, rules, and values ensure that projects and tasks are fulfilled per stakeholder and customer requirements. Such policies must be consistently applied to ensure a culture of inclusion and diversity.
Company HR policies must align with the personal experiences of employees. Organizations with a relaxed and friendly culture can attract and keep top talent. Communication, recognition, and positive action are the three tenets of an employee-friendly culture.
Companies that treat their employees with the same care and respect that they treat their customers will see a spurt in their overall growth in revenue and culture. HR policies that suit an employee’s needs help in employee engagement and are essential for big organizations to survive in a competitive world.
3. Redefine Leadership
Make the organization’s leaders’ culture advocates. Cultural advocacy is critical to establishing integrity within an organization. Senior management is crucial in advocating the right policies and processes that make a great culture.
Leaders must exemplify specific behavior that goes with the culture. For example, demonstrating behavior that goes against the company’s values makes employees lose trust in the system.
Leaders must forge positive connections between team members. They must make it a point to interact with team members to build positive and fruitful working relationships. Team building activities generate empathy and bonhomie and promote more effective communication. Team building can also pave the way for conflict resolution.
4. Focus on Learning and Development
Great cultures are forged when employees regularly and continually invest in their employees. Nurture employees wholeheartedly through learning and development programs.
Employees need to feel constantly learning and growing in an organization. Further, companies with highly motivated individuals focus a lot on soft skills development. Innovative learning technologies also promote company growth and vision.
Good performance management programs can help assess the long-term suitability of an employee and can be a critical metric for learning and development programs.
5. Reinvent Hiring Practices
Good hiring practices can help an organization capitalize on its culture effectively. Traditional hiring practices focus more on an employee’s skills. Organizations, however, are now realizing the immense potential of soft skills, EQ, and whether the candidate will be a good culture fit for the organization.
On the other hand, ill-fitting hires depart quickly and cost the company 50% to 150% of the position’s annual salary. Some good hiring practices given below effectively contribute to a great organizational culture:-
- Align interviews with the company’s mission and core values. Questions must be asked that help cull out appropriate behavior or the lack of it. For instance, if the organization works fantastically, the candidate’s responses must exemplify this.
- Ensure that there are at least three different people on the interview panel. It prevents ambiguity and makes the process fair.
It is important to note that an organization’s culture cannot be sold to an employee. Employees who later realize that they do not gel within the company’s culture might try to break free or experience very low morale while they are within the organization.
Organizational culture can be built with the help of three essential ingredients – listening, recognition and appreciation. By knowing different types of corporate culture, you can embed the right processes and practices to build the team.
A great organizational culture is a right step toward accomplishing business value and high growth. So, employers must ensure that cultural norms are consistently communicated without prejudice or ambiguity. Such organizations can then take the much-needed steps toward decisive victory.