Organizational culture is made up of the differing views of members, its image, reputation, and the symbols that represent it; values that help employees identify with the company, in turn improving retention.
Tackling this subject is no small feat, and implementing organizational culture can be quite complex. This blog article will show you how it’s done, using concepts that will facilitate the process.
According to the Real Academia Española (RAE), culture is a combination of lifestyles and customs, knowledge, and the degree of artistic, scientific and industrial development, pertaining to a specific time period or social group. These groups form based on the extent of engagement and interaction achieved.
According to American author Tony Robbins, if we apply this to organizations, the members of a company can establish strong or weak connections. Companies with a strong organisational culture are characterised by having quite solid values that are accepted by all members, which translates into employees that closely identify with the organisation.
On the other hand, companies with a weak organizational culture are left with demotivated staff that are neither very involved in processes nor interested in decision-making.
This is why the ideal scenario would be one where employees feel closely identified with the company, and at the same time see themselves represented, viewing the company’s success as their own success. Here the responsibility of human talent managers comes into play, since they are the ones in charge of cultivating, enabling and developing actions that create organizational culture, through workshops, trainings and incentives that allow for consistency between the company’s philosophy and its practices.
Knowing and understanding our organizational culture
If we want to understand our organization’s culture, we can depict the following aspects (Johnson and Scholes model), which are interrelated:
- Stories: things from the past that employees speak about both inside and outside of the organisation. People and stories that become immortalised say a great deal about what is valued or important at that organisation.
- Rituals and routines: daily behaviours and actions that indicate what behaviours are acceptable, determine how people are expected to behave, and what leaders value.
- Symbols: anything representing the organisation, from logos to dress code, etc.
- Organisational structure: both the organisational chart as well as formal and informal authority can be indicators of what types of contributions are valued.
- Control systems: financial, quality and compensation systems.
- Power structure: whether real, informal or formal power, these leaders influence decisions, operations and strategic direction.
Read this article to learn more about this topic: Diversity as organizational culture
Once you know and understand your organisation’s culture, you can start to implement strategies:
- Define what objectives are to be achieved through this process.
- Analyse the current culture to detect its strengths and areas of opportunity.
- Map out the desired culture, drawing from the organisational philosophy and ensuring coherence therewith.
- Design an action plan: this plan should embody actions focused on the differences between the current and desired culture.
- Monitor the action plan’s results.
Strengthen your company’s corporate identity, better the work environment and meet objectives with motivated employees thanks to a solid organisational culture!