July 2014 - By Kirsi Kaikkonen, Professional Development Co-ordinator @ TP3
Why Organisational Culture?
Organisational culture became a buzz-term in 1980s – 1990s and has been researched for decades. As its importance seems to have diminished in media, does organisational culture still matter and is it worth investing in? Do companies and employees actually benefit from a coherent corporate culture?
Higher Productivity and Profitability
Organisational culture refers to the values and behaviours of employees in a company. It defines the company philosophy and builds the organisational environment and structure.
A well-formed culture motivates employees and enhances their productivity. With a sense of belonging and being part of a team, an employee is likely to work towards common goals and won’t want to let the team down. The employee will want the team and the organisation to prosper and thus will work harder to achieve targets.
Happiness and positive attitude also contribute to higher productivity. If employees are content and enjoy their roles, the working environment will be cheerful and motivating. This in turn will be reflected on employees’ behaviour towards external parties like clients, leading to better relationships and business opportunities. Teams are also likely to function better and form creative solutions if the atmosphere is pleasant.
“Customers will never love a company until
the employees love it first.”
Organisational Development Benefits
Corporate culture is in the core of organisational development. By investing in people and enhancing culture, an organisation strives and progresses.
In order to build a business strategy and develop the organisation, corporate culture may be applied to steer the company towards the right path. Culture can shape employees’ motivations, attitudes and actions, which in turn reflect on the company’s progress. If employees are unclear of the strategic path or are disengaged, they won’t go an extra mile to reach a target or please a customer. If, however, they feel like they are part of the crew and are familiar with the trail, they are more likely to take a leap and work towards a solution or a goal.
“Ability is what you're capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do. Attitude
determines how well you do it.”
If culture is so important, how do we build it? A number of aspects can shape a culture but the following will focus on leadership, values and events.
Building and maintaining corporate culture starts from the CEO and senior management team. Employees are more likely to engage in culture if the management team fully supports it and indicates that culture matters and has an impact on the company. Leading by example motivates employees to take part and explore values, events and other aspects of the culture.
Most companies have values, which have been incorporated into the company’s strategy and employees’ roles and responsibilities. These values may also be displayed on a company’s brand and external image.
When choosing values, a company needs to be careful with picking the right number of values and the right kinds of values that align with the company’s core philosophy. In order to remind everyone of the company values, they may be displayed in the office, on the company website, or in the company’s mission statement and vision. Values can be presented as images, words and actions.
Company events like Christmas parties, sports events, birthday celebrations, dinners and drinks bring employees together, enabling interaction outside of work-related matters. Employees can bond in group activities and get to know each other better in a friendly and cosy atmosphere. Staff members are likely to work better together when they have formed trust and deeper relationships. This in turn will transform the workplace into a more pleasant playground as employees feel like they are working with friends and want to aim for similar goals. Employees are also likely to give more to the company if they feel that the company is investing in them and rewarding them with fun events.
Organisational Culture – Worth the Investment
If a company has a strong culture, employees are likely to be more engaged and motivated. They want to give their best at work and focus on achieving company goals. Culture can give clarity and structure that enables employees to follow the company strategy and aim for the same targets.
When employees are motivated and feel like they are part of a group, they are likely to perform better, which leads to higher productivity and increases profitability. Employees are likely to have more ideas and be more solution-focused as they are happy to contribute to the company’s success.
It’s definitely worth the investment!