Many times we hear companies and managers talking about work ethics and culture. Organizations speak all the time about changing the culture and adapting it to present situations. The desire to do so has lots of thought behind it.
Some companies want to weed away the negativity of their operations. On the other hand, others are only looking at diversifying how they operate.
Whatever it is, Corporate culture is an important factor these days. However, culture is not something that you can quickly imbibe into your daily schedules. It requires persistent efforts on the part of all the parties involved, and then only results are seen.
Here we will talk about 10 principles of organizational culture every professional should know.
1. Working within current cultural settings
You cannot just replace deeply embedded cultural attributes at the drop of a hat. Nor can you swap your present culture with a new one instantly. If you think carefully, you will realize that your current cultural settings are going to reflect in your future efforts.
There is nothing bad or good with your contemporary culture.
To work with the present culture effectively, you must find out attributes that are long staying. Also, find out when these same attributes may act as a hindrance in your path. Most diverse companies analyze every aspect of their work culture before opting for a transformation.
2. Change behaviors and mindsets will change accordingly
Companies often believe that behavioral changes will come after the mindsets are modified. That is why most companies try to write magical mindset-changing words in their brochures.
However, culture is more about acting on things than saying what we will do. But neuroscience suggests that people only work after they start believing in the things propagated.
Therefore implementing tangible changes that are observable and measurable is an excellent way to begin. Some good examples of behavioral change could involve:
- Interpersonal relationships
- Customer service
A telecommunications company noticed that its customers were not so happy. Instead of offering their employees suggestions, they focused on building team rapport.
When employees felt they were in a happy team, they worked better and kept the customers happy too. Changed behavior led to a changed mindset.
h2 3. Focus on just a few critical behaviors
Usually, people advocate an approach where everything is not perfect. However, companies have to be selective when it comes to picking the behaviors to keep. The key is to pay attention to those behaviors which are highly critical and helpful. Find out a few things that your employees do and which offer favorable results.
Now see that these behaviors are in alignment with the company’s strategy. You must also see that the employees are comfortable doing these things. This will help you in establishing an emotional bond.
You can codify these behaviors and offer them to employees to practice every day. Find out employee groups that will adopt these behaviors and propagate them further.
4. Find out who your leaders are
Authority comes with position but should never be confused with leadership. Being a leader is a trait that comes naturally to people. There is no particular course that teaches you how to be a leader. Some people are just born with the attribute, and the companies have to identify the natural-born leaders.
The problem is that identifying such authentic leaders is not a piece of cake. Moreover, companies are unable to tap their talent and overlook them when it comes to adapting to the culture.
You can identify the leaders through conducting interviews and surveys, and other organizational tools. Once you have identified them, these leaders can become allies for you.
5. Don’t let other leaders go away
Organizations try to divide culture and make it a zone of the HRD professionals. But you must not forget that leaders of all areas are essential. Their efforts are cultural alignment sets the tone that others can follow suit.
If staff members see a difference between the culture propagated and the one followed by their leaders, they might get confused.
The people at the top levels have to demonstrate that they are practicing what they preach. Here again, a critical few have the key to success. It is their job to see that the ideal behaviors are followed diligently. Divide your employees into separate groups. Now ask them to identify the cross-organizational issues faced by all of them.
6. Link the behaviors to your business objectives
When companies talk about feelings, motivations, and values that are important for the culture, the conversation can sometimes become abstract. It may then go off track the path required to achieve success.
Many employees take part in discussions of organizational culture without understanding what they are supposed to do.
This disconnect could prove harmful for your company. Give them tangible examples of how cultural interventions can improve performance and financial growth. Choose behaviors that are aimed at enhancing this efficiency, and you can measure too.
For example, if an oil firm tries to reduce maintenance costs by focusing on places where there is wastage of resources. The employees pointed out that they should have an idea of the costs so they can work to reduce them.
Workers recommended that expensive machinery should be repaired instead of throwing it off. In turn, the company celebrated the extent of savings brought by the employees.
7. Demonstrate the impact generated
Nowadays the attention span of people is less. The same applies to organizations as well. When you show people great efforts and mention high-profile words, they look for the results as well.
But if the results are not, their chances are most of them will lose focus and get cynical. Therefore it becomes crucial to start showing the results of your efforts as soon as you can.
One way to do so is to make high-profile demonstration projects. These are low-risk efforts whose results can quickly be analyzed. For example, if a company wants to check new behaviors at the front line, it can start a pilot test. Now decide on a time frame in which you can analyze the results.
If all goes well, the company will see results that are way beyond the imagination. This, when shared with the other employees, is sure to give their morale a boost.
8. Using cross-organizational methods for exposure
Ideas spread virally from top to bottom in any organization. Another way to spread the news is through blog posts, Facebook and LinkedIn posts, and tweets. Social media is an essential tool when it comes to spreading news. People often listen to what their friends and acquaintances are advocating.
For example, a company can start with a group of 12 to 15 leaders. After a few weeks, new groups are set up in every department of the organization.
Once three to six months are passed, new members can join, and these groups become autonomous. Meanwhile, the company can facilitate the connections between these teams.
9. Align your efforts with the behavior
We have already told you the importance of informal leaders in making your ideas go viral. By giving the structure in which the people can work, the organization motivates its employees to perform better. On the other hand, the informal organization enables the emotional connection to enhance the performance.
Synchronize your efforts such that the employees can notice the difference. If the employees are still working in the same way as before, there is hardly any change in the circumstances. That means the efforts were not there or not implemented properly.
10. Actively manage the cultural situation with time
You must have made some drastic changes, but you will have to monitor them too. Companies who actively manage their work culture are termed “culture superstars,” and rightly so. When you align your culture guidelines with the strategic and operating priorities, the result is a source of motivation that yields positive outcomes.
However, your active culture at present may not be prevalent a few years from now. It is only when you move ahead in growth milestones that your culture goals transform.
Constructing an environment that gives preference to employees always works for the best. Again working on culture never ends. Keep modifying and adapting as per the changing times is what you should look at.
A happy work culture gets your employees encouraged to perform better. Use the above tactics to show them that you care. Organizational culture is everywhere, yet many people are unable to decipher its presence. Give it immense power, and you can modify plans and increase your growth trajectory.
Initially, you might have to ask yourself a few questions. This could range from finding the emotional forces to finding the behavior changes in employees. Once you learn the art of analyzing these attributes, establishing an ethical work culture is no big deal.
Of course, you must not expect a drastic change. All the changes are slow, but you can use them to boost the competitive momentum necessary for future gains.