Summary: Organizational culture is sure working, and it is up to you whether you will make it workplace for you or against you. From making the right hiring decisions to getting buy in from the leadership, here are some ways to enhance culture.
There are many factors that contribute to organizational growth. Some are quantitative and some are qualitative, some tangible, and some intangible. Among the many factors that influence growth, organizational culture plays an important, yet often undefined, part. Not many organizations recognize culture or the importance of culture, and lesser still do something about enhancing their culture so that it can actively contribute towards growth. The good news is that, you already probably have an organizational culture in place, and therefore you need not start from the scratch. You just need to realize how it can make a positive contribution to the organization and take steps to turn it that way. Here are some pointers on the same:
Changing employee behaviour
Organizational culture is often the collection of individual behaviours of the employees at the workplace. If they are not punctual, or habitually turn in their work after deadlines, or if they have a habit of spending a lot of time at the water cooler, or if they are behaving in a similarly unprofessional way, it reflects upon the workplace and the entire organization. Since behaviour, individual and collective, is one of the foundations of culture, it follows that you can change your culture by changing behaviour. Recognize all the negative aspects of the workplace, and ensure that you take steps to eliminate them. Inculcate and instill a behaviour of responsibility and integrity in employees, and it would automatically improve workplace culture.
An old adage goes, as the leader does, so the follower. This is certainly true in large parts in organizations. Generally, employees take cue from the leadership and model their style of working on their leaders’. Indeed, it is not uncommon to find workplaces where employees work to please their bosses more than they work to achieve organizational objectives (not that this is a good thing, this is just to show the importance of leadership). Therefore, it you really want to make a difference to your culture, it should start from the top, and the leadership must be thoroughly involved in shaping and keeping up the culture. All the decisions must have culture also as a parameter (maybe not the dominant one) so that is shows through all the actions.
Hiring plays a huge part in shaping up culture. Organizational culture is a dynamic thing, and while there are some core values that shape up culture, it has to evolve with times and the people shaping it up. Therefore, it important to have the culture aspect in mind while hiring. It is not uncommon for those in charge of hiring to get lost in the education and experience details of the candidate, and therefore not look at whether that person would suit the culture of the organization, let alone enhance it. Therefore, it is not a surprise that new hires often cannot fit in easily. So, the next time you hire someone; also see whether they will be a good fit for the workplace, and whether they will help your organizational culture holistically.
Realizing the workplace culture is the first step in improving it. Make sure that this very important component of human resource management is working for you rather than against you, because, be very sure, it sure is working.