Culture is both a dynamic phenomenon and the norms that guide and restrict behavior. It creates a powerful driving force in organizational situations, and is considered influential to its success. In any scenario wherein there needs to be a group effort, teamwork, and collaboration between individuals and groups of individuals, such as that evident in business operations, there are always different types of people with different culture, and when the organization cannot find means by which to make them understand and accept the differences, and be able to create common grounds, that is, create an organizational culture, it will be very difficult for these people to work as one team. And when there is no “one team,” it makes it even harder to achieve what the organization has set out to do.
Assessing Organizational Culture
The culture in the organization can be assessed in different methods. One way to do this is by making a careful observation of the physical signs of culture, such as:
- Location of the office
- Space allotted for each office
- Posts of bulletin boards and walls
- Commonly utilized areas
- Tone of memos and emails
- Interaction of employees
Another method is by conducting employee interviews and surveys because they can give managers a good idea of what the culture is; by simply observing their behavioral patterns during these sessions, as well as analyzing their answers to the questions asked.
How to Form Organizational Culture
First of all, it is vital to determine first what kind of culture should be imbibed in the organization. This should be in harmony with the mission, vision, and values in order for it to serve its purpose. Once that has been clearly identified, there needs to be executive support and proper training to channel this culture to the people.
Executive support means having the top managers of the organization show verbal and behavioral support for the establishment of the new culture, and being consistent with it. Training, on the one hand, should support this change by helping every member of the organization understand clearly what is expected of them and how they should behave in a given situation.
In addition to this, there are other means to form organizational culture, and these are:
- Creation of value statements- Activities that will help give employees a more concrete understanding of the mission, vision, and values can develop culture. Putting into writing the value statements is an excellent activity for each department.
- Effective communication- Keeping employees updated and informed about the new culture and what the change entails will strengthen their commitment.
- Organizational structure-Whenever there is a need to form a new culture, the physical structure of the organization must be aligned with this change. Such alignment will spell out success to the business because if culture and organizational structure do not match, it will only result to potential disasters within the organization.
- Organizational design- To succeed in developing a new culture, there has to be a change in the organizational design through rewards and recognition to encourage employees to adapt to the new required behaviors.
- Review of work systems-Employee promotions, performance management, pay scale, and recruitment should be aligned to the new culture as well.
Impact of Organizational Culture on Performance
A strong culture exists when the employees respond to a stimulus because of the alignment to the values set by the organization. If there is little or no alignment with organizational values, control can only be exercised by bureaucracy and extensive procedures. Put simply, an organization with a strong culture has people that do things because they believe it is the proper thing to do, whereas an organization with a weak culture can only do things right if they are forced to do so.
An organization with a high performance culture is important in order to boost employee commitment and drive. It reinforces the organization’s mission, vision, and values and provides several benefits such as: improved employee performance, gaining more competitive advantage, better internal and external communication, clear understanding of organizational perspectives, and most importantly, it creates a team that strives hard towards improving the organization’s bottom-line.