Culture is created and shaped with time, it’s learned, but also intimately bound to the company’s DNA. Defining and transmitting those values is one of the biggest challenges an organization must go through, but one that can bring countless benefits.
What is organizational culture? By nature every company possesses an identity that differentiates it from other companies. From the time a company is established, the accumulated actions, behaviors and values contribute to the development of the corporate culture.
What types of organizational culture exist?
Every company possesses its own cultural structure, inherent to it since its foundation. There are no two companies that share the same values. Nevertheless, it’s useful to know the existing generalized organizational culture models, to help in the defining stage.
Once a company is created, it’s essential to know the importance of the organizational values system. The company’s culture will have a key role not only in the internal ecosystem, but also on the work environment, and the way the organization will reach its goals.
There are many examples of corporate culture types The most commonly used is by author Roger Harrison, who distinguishes between power, roles, task and person centered organizations. Each model offers different advantages, and places different values above others:
- Power centered organizations: Usually very centralized companies, they hold competition and effectiveness as their top values. They also reward aggressive thought and risk-taking in benefit of the centralized power.
- Role centered organizations: They base their decisions on logic and rationality. Rules and procedures are prioritized over innovation outside the assigned role and soft skills.
- Task centered organizations: Usually organized in multi-disciplinary sectors in which the top values are teamwork and synergy, oriented at the fulfillment of objectives.
- Person centered organizations: They put the individual’s development at the center of the company. Its values are often related to innovation and the relationships between individuals, with personal growth as the primary value.
Why is company culture important for good organizational climate?
23% of employees in the US think they can apply the company’s values in their daily work. Only 27% believe in the veracity of those values. (Source: Gallup Management Consulting Company)
Organizational culture does not consist solely on a list of values, it needs to encompass all the company’s internal activities. A well defined and applied value scheme acts as a cohesive element and ensures all human capital is focused on the same objectives.
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s not enough to communicate the expected attitudes, but that values are learned and internalized thanks to peer and superior recognition. This recognition helps create a positive work environment, and enables value learning and transmission within the company.
The keys to enhancing organizational culture
The identification of a company with certain values helps attract and retain talent that look for those characteristics in the workplace.
According to a joint study by Surrey Business School and Grenoble Ecole de Management, a workplace culture focused on colleague interaction is key to talent retention. On the other hand, lack of identification with the corporate culture can result in the loss of those employees, regardless of salary or results.
The learning and interiorization of those values creates a double benefit for companies, not only aligning the employee with the company values, but also turning them into transmitters. The availability of tools that make recognition easier allows both the enhancement of the culture and a better knowledge of where and how those interactions happen.
A culture that embraces all sectors of the company results in synergy and an aligned understanding and vision of the objectives. It’s important to ensure that all the elements that compose the culture are applied throughout the organization.
Knowing the company’s objectives is fundamental to an employee’s job. Understanding how to get to those objectives creates a safe and effective work environment, that facilitates the growth of both the organization and the people that are a part of it.
Is it possible to measure culture?
Even when all companies possess their own identities, characteristics and cultures, it’s possible to measure the results we expect to see as a result of that identity. Organizational values are manifested in actions, that can be recognized and measured with the use of real-time feedback tools.
Once established, measurements contribute to the corporate culture assimilation. By knowing and being a part of the feedback process, employees are at the same time transmitters and receptors of the message, which helps them feel like an integral part of the organization.
Measurement and feedback need to be a continuous processes. As it is tightly bound to the company’s DNA, organizational culture can evolve together with the organization’s growth.
Using tools to strengthen organizational culture
In companies with a large number of employees, recognition can be easily taken for granted. The need for immediate results and the geographical distance can make communication and feedback between team members difficult.
The use of online solutions provides easier peer recognition, helping reinforce institutional values and improve the work environment.
With tools like StarMeUp, company members are given a platform that facilitates the interaction with peers and superiors, highlighting the importance of horizontality in feedback. At the same time, StarMeUp provides the organization with a valuable platform that allows it to identify positive influencers, cultural strengths and improvement opportunities.