Workplace Culture – Is Yours Right?
What is the major concern of an employee who is moving to a new job? It is the workplace culture. The employee is anxious if he / she will be able to fit in the new workplace culture. There is also anxiety about the behavior of new colleagues (is it positive?), the attitude of managers (is it autocratic?), and the values and beliefs of the organization (are they traditional?). These elements define the workplace culture and are unique to every organization. It is the pulse of the organization – one that can’t be seen, but everyone in the organization feels it.
Yes, it’s true because everything in the workplace affects the culture directly. A few factors that affect the workplace culture include:
- Workplace practices such as recruitment, compensation benefits, training, promotion, work-life balance
- The working environment, such as how companies allocate office space, the color of the wall, furniture used, hangings on the wall, and other physical aspects of the office
- The personality, beliefs, values, skills and experiences of people working in an organization
- The systems, processes, structure and hierarchy within an organization
- The frequency, type and degree of communication between employees and managers
As you can understand, culture is something that is constantly evolving in the background. It can be tough for an organization to not only define its culture but also to maintain it. But culture is an important driver for organizations to achieve their objectives. Culture reveals the strengths, behaviors, attitudes and skill sets of the organization. Without knowledge of their culture, organizations wouldn’t have a clue as to what to capitalize and where to improve.
Organizations that proactively define their culture and give it direction see a tangible improvement in operations and financial outcomes. A strong, positive, well-defined and clearly communicated culture gives a competitive advantage to an organization. It also helps to attract talent and promotes employee engagement, retention and satisfaction.
Forming a culture is a work-in-progress activity considering it is almost impossible to impose culture on people through top-down messages or training and development programs. Changing or improving an organization’s culture also requires a change in the mindset of people working in the organization. Reviewing workplace culture by asking the right questions can help organizations select behaviors that are aimed specifically at improving business performance.
What values and belief systems do you envision for your organization? Are you happy with the current culture in your workplace and is it appropriate to meet your business objectives? How do you share these cultural values with your team? What behavioral changes would allow you to meet your strategic and operational targets? And finally, what can the management do to reinforce these critical behaviors?