What Is Organizational Culture?
Today’s workplace is changing at such a rapid pace. Culture is becoming a very important part of the workforce. With 55% of millennials forging into companies all across America, culture is not just a “wouldn’t it be nice,” it is a vital part of a company’s success.
People in every workplace talk about organizational culture, that mysterious word that characterizes the qualities of a work environment. One of the key questions and assessments, when employers interview a prospective employee, explores whether the candidate is a good cultural fit. Culture is difficult to define, but you generally know when you have found an employee who appears to fit your culture. He/she just feels right.
Culture is the environment that surrounds you at work all of the time. Culture is a powerful element that shapes your work enjoyment, your work relationships, and your work processes. But, culture is something that you cannot actually see, except through its physical manifestations in your workplace.
Culture is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a group of people. Culture is the behavior that results when a group arrives at a set of - generally unspoken and unwritten - rules for working together.
In many ways, culture is like personality. In a person, the personality is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, experiences, upbringing, and habits that create a person’s behavior.
An organization’s culture is made up of all of the life experiences each employee brings to the organization. Culture is especially influenced by the organization’s founder, executives, and other managerial staff because of their role in decision making and strategic direction.
Culture is represented in a group’s:
• decision making,
• stories and legends, and
• daily work practices
Something as simple as the objects chosen to grace a desk tells you a lot about how employees view and participate in your organization’s culture. Your bulletin board content, the company newsletter, the interaction of employees in meetings, and the way in which people collaborate, speak volumes about your organizational culture.
What does a culture build-out entail?
If you are a new company and just beginning to look at culture, let Results Revolution, help you set the foundation for lasting success.
The KEY into today's growing trends to create an
Do your values promote a culture of extraordinary customer care by happy, motivated, productive people? If not, you will want to:
• identify the values that currently exist in your workplace;
• determine if these are the right values for your workplace; and
• change the actions and behaviors of which the values are demonstrated, if necessary.
Companies like Pixar live by their core culture values:
• Messy Growth
• Everyone in Company Can Contribute
They strive to live by those values each and every day. In order to be intentional about your culture, that means you cannot just sit back, relax and hope that you get the company culture you envision. Just like anything in life, you have to have visualize, create values and objectives to meet that vision and you have to be able to monitor it’s course and to make sure that the culture you are creating is what you want one year, five or ten years down the road. You culture build out sets the foundation for everything people oriented your company will represent. Let Results Revolution help you build out one of the most important aspects of your company – CULTURE!
Do You Need a Culture Realignment?
Part of Results Revolution’s core competencies is to make sure companies are obtaining the results they want. In order to do that, it means they have to be willing to partake in some TRUTH serum in every aspect of their business, including culture. Culture, just like anything that involves people, values, beliefs and relationships, which are difficult to change after a pattern has been set.
How do you know if your company’s culture aligns with its core values, or if it’s out of alignment?
Core values should be obvious through the actions of the company and its senior management. Following are five simple questions to ask to know whether your company’s culture is wobbly and due for an alignment:
Where does your company allocate its money? If a core value is innovation or sustainability, but nothing or very little is put into R&D or environmental safeguards, respectively, then there may be a misalignment.
How does your company treat its employees? Does management talk about respect and dignity but tolerate bullies because they bring in sales? Do managers tout the importance of work-life balance, but expect to get immediate answers to emails sent at midnight or on Sunday afternoon? Is transparency a stated value, but internal politics is so Byzantine that staff get lost in the maze?
What is your company’s reputation in its industry? Does it emphasize concern for customers in its values, but the talk online and on the street is negative? Do its values spout honesty and ethics, but in reality the company cuts corners and crosses the line? If innovation is a core value, does management provide the resources and support to help employees be innovative, bringing new ideas to market?
How much trust does your company engender in employees, customers/clients, the marketplace? If one of its core values is to be trusted, does it perform in a dependable way? Is quality something touted in core values, but not actually manifest as the company fails to stand behind its products or services? Does it stand by its stated convictions, even when they are difficult to follow? Is it truthful?
How well does your company serve its stakeholders? If producing wealth for shareholders is a core value, is the company actually doing that, and not just for short-term investors? If the values claim community commitment, does the company encourage and enable employees to support the community?
There are many sophisticated tools, such as culture audit surveys, for gauging the alignment between your company’s culture and its stated core values, but I have a very simple one. Watch the expressions of employees as they glance at those beautifully framed statements of core values. Are they nodding in agreement or silently snickering? It isn’t really that difficult to know if your culture is working and in alignment. The difficulty is in the change. Results Revolution can help you navigate that change!
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