Unlocking the Power of Organisational Culture: Why It Matters and How to Cultivate It
Updated: Apr 2
Organisational culture is a crucial aspect of any company or organisation that can significantly impact the experience of its employees. Culture encompasses the values, ethics, and expectations of the organisation, as well as the shared values and work environment among employees.
In fact, culture can account for up to 40% of an employee's experience within an organisation, making it essential for managers to understand their organisation's culture to succeed in their roles.
Culture dictates what actions are rewarded and which ones are discouraged. For example, if an organisation highly values punctuality, upper management expects managers to enforce punctual behaviour within their departments. On the other hand, if an organisation values transparency and open communication, employees will look to their managers to foster an environment where issues can be openly discussed and addressed.
The importance of organisational culture can be illustrated through two stories. In the first story, Mark (not his real name) had a job at a tech start-up. During the interview, he was promised a high salary and a work-life balance that included travelling and weekly game tournaments with co-workers.
Mark was also told that his input and creativity would be valued. However, after taking the job, he quickly realised that none of these promises were fulfilled. Instead, he was simply given a fat paycheck and Wednesday pizza parties. His ideas were never sought after, and he felt undervalued and unappreciated. In the end, Mark realised that the company culture at the start-up was not one that he enjoyed or thrived in.
In contrast, the second story is about President Kennedy's visit to a NASA facility. During his tour, he saw a caretaker carrying a bucket and a broom. Kennedy asked the caretaker what he did, to which the janitor proudly replied, "I helped put a man on the moon." This story highlights a corporate culture that breeds inclusion and pride among all employees, regardless of their job titles or position within the organisation.
A positive company culture can lead to many benefits for both the organisation and its employees. For the business, a positive culture can lead to increased productivity, as employees are more likely to be motivated and engaged in their work when they feel valued and supported. In addition, a positive culture can result in increased employee satisfaction, leading to lower turnover rates and reduced recruitment costs.
On the individual level, a positive organisational culture can lead to increased job satisfaction and a sense of fulfilment for employees. When employees feel their values align with the organisation's, they are more likely to be motivated and committed to their work. In addition, a positive culture can foster a sense of belonging and community among employees, leading to stronger bonds and collaboration within the organisation.
However, it's important to note that organisational culture is not static and can change over time. It is the responsibility of leadership and management to cultivate and maintain a positive culture within the organisation continuously. This can be achieved through clear communication of values and expectations, consistently reinforcing positive behaviours, and creating opportunities for employee growth and development.
Organisational culture is crucial to any company or organisation. It dictates the values, ethics, and expectations of the business, as well as the work environment and shared values among employees. Understanding an organisation's culture is vital for managers to be successful in their roles and to create a positive employee experience.
A positive organisational culture can lead to increased productivity, employee satisfaction, and overall success for the organisation. It is the responsibility of leadership and management to nurture and maintain a positive culture within the organisation continuously.