How Organisational Culture influences employee behaviour

When talking about organisational culture, we may find that we are unclear about what this concept encompasses. For a long time, consciously or not, we have underestimated the importance of establishing an identity within the organisation; it is an intangible aspect that actively transforms tangible results at the company.

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Fortunately, talent managers and human resources consultants, even some team leaders, understand the value of the role of culture within an organisation’s internal strategy and how it influences employee behaviour.

Over time, an organisation’s members, even when they have different behavioural profiles, tend to adopt similar behaviours and attitudes owing to the organisational culture in place. In this sense, company executives are faced with the challenge of finding, if necessary, collective opportunities for improvement, and of transforming the values, habits, behaviours and implicit norms that model the work duties in the day-to-day.

A study conducted by the School of Economic Sciences of Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) indicated that employee performance is not only related to their training, but is also influenced by the type of culture that defines their workplace.

Télam Norberto Góngora, the director of this research project, stated that: “we can clearly see that organisational culture influences teamwork, employee motivation and the desire to stay or leave a job, among other aspects.”

Put more simply, if a person works in an environment where they are continually recognised and incentivised to produce excellent results, this will motivate them to do their best. The opposite happens when a person feels that none of the efforts they make at work will lead to any kind of reaction from their leaders.

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That is why, when we analyse this more in depth, employee perception emerges as a key element for understanding the influence of culture. Efforts should be aimed at changing people’s perspective with regard to their place within the organisation; this is a more direct and positive way of improving behaviour.

A document published in 2008 by The American Review of Public Administration introduced the concept of perceived effectiveness of public service in order to describe how an individual’s perception of their job can affect job motivation and organisational behaviour. According to the document’s co-authors Craig Boardman and Eric Sundquist, when people perceive that the work they do benefits the general population, we see an increase in reports of job satisfaction and commitment to the organisation.

We can conclude that while it is necessary to establish the components of an organisation’s culture, it is more important that it be real, part of the day-to-day, and set in motion by the organisation’s leaders.