Organizational culture is the DNA of any organization- creative and maintaining a positive culture will benefit not only your business but everyone around it.
What is that one thing that holds an organization or business together? The vision and mission? The walls of its buildings? Or something much more important and intangible yet entangled in everything and everyone. In the same way, culture represents a nation’s DNA, and so does organizational culture represent an organization’s DNA. What makes them unique and different, and a blueprint of structures, procedures, bonds, expectations and aspirations.
Organizational culture impacts behaviour, and the response to a crisis and shapes the way we communicate internally within the organization and externally with customers, clients, and other parties. It is responsible for the company’s identity and how others perceive you. It affects so many areas of your business, if not all, and yet it often gets forgotten in the rush to be more productive, reach higher profits, attain a higher market share, and be the next big thing, even though it is the glue that holds everything together.
No one likes to work in a toxic and hostile environment. And the organizational culture sets the tone and ensures that something like that never happens. It creates and nourishes a welcome and open work environment in which people are free to engage and collaborate and express their ideas, insights and feedback. A positive culture boosts productivity by bringing the same complementary skill sets and knowledge to work together. It is a type of guide that helps everyone understand and manage their purpose, roles and expectations in the organization.
In a safe and open work environment, people are more motivated to work and are more satisfied with their jobs. This means that they are more likely to stay in the company, which means retaining talent and also means you don’t have to waste time or money on finding new people. A higher retention rate directly implies that people are satisfied with their jobs and you as an employer, in turn, it will strengthen the image of your company positively, consequently attracting new talent. Satisfied employees are more motivated to engage and try to do their best. When they feel a strong bond with the company, they are even more willing to put in the extra work because they feel like a part of the company and their hard work is for the greater good.
Everything is fine until a crisis hits. Then you get to see the best and the worst in everyone. Organizational culture is there to guide people through tough times and remind them of their purpose. A strong organizational culture can help you as a leader to steer through many difficulties. It is the first responder and when your employees are aware of the culture and they are a part of it, they are more flexible and adaptable to any new situation.
The culture provides you guidelines but it doesn’t hold answers to everything nor is it your HR specialist. You still must have two-way communication with your employees to make sure that they understand your expectations and objectives, and on the other hand, they must be able to communicate back to you their ideas, insights, complaints and feedback. If you fail to do this, your employees will not understand their roles, tasks and responsibilities, nor will they be happy about not having a voice.
It isn't enough to set up an organizational culture and leave it to chance. It is not something that can easily be changed, because it is embellished in the very core of the existence of your business and the people who work there. Even so, it must be flexible and able to transform itself to meet new needs of a constantly changing environment, while still nurturing a positive vibe. Organizational culture is something to take care of and make sure that everyone is reminded of it from time to time because we easily forget about the most important things when we get caught up in a dynamic routine.
No matter if you have a small business or a large corporation, organizational culture is the glue that holds everything together, and creates a work environment where everyone has a clear purpose. For a leader, it is a great aid for motivating and inspiring your employees and it is something to look up to.