Here’s The Way We Do Things ‘Round Here

Every organization has a corporate culture. Thoroughly understanding your company culture is important for your employees as well as the organization. A recent article, from contributors Robert Brown and Alan S. Gutterman, poses several questions that can help you to fully understand your organizational culture.

“There is no generally accepted definition of “culture”, organizationally or otherwise, and scholars and researchers from various academic disciplines have added their own nuances when suggesting a definition.” A little research finds one definition of culture: the act of developing the intellectual and moral faculties especially by education. What kind of culture does your organization exude?

Corporate culture, in common terms, is ‘the way we do things around here’. This refers to how your business interacts with the social environment, how your workers deal with customers, how your employees treat each other, and how your upper-level employees reinforce those they lead.

It’s imperative that you address the issues of your organizational culture. The article provides a few questions that can help you identify potential problems. These questions are designed to help reinforce a desired culture model, or to change the current characteristics.

Organizational mission and purpose: Do all of the organizational members have a clear understanding of the mission and purpose of the organization and their roles and responsibilities in achieving organizational goals? Is there a clear vision of where the organization is headed that is shared and understood by all members?

Control systems: What “control” mechanisms are used within the organization and are they “tight” (e.g., formal rules with small tolerances) or “loose”? To what extent does the technology used by the organization influence its control systems?

Among other things that will help you to identify and understand your culture, addressing your organization’s responsibilities to its members is helpful. Is the organization only responsible for matters related to job performance or is it more of an overall well-being for everyone?

How do your employees identify with the organization? Are they committed to the betterment of the company? What kind of internal and external communication methods are utilized? To get the best understanding of your corporate culture, you’ll need to look at things like your internal governance systems, what strategies are in place for coping with the external environment and external adaptation policies, and what your policies are in regards to gender equality and diversity. One other area to carefully inspect:

Encouragement and support of individual development: To what extent does the organization encourage and reward members for improving their skills and performance and for setting and achieving challenging goals with respect to excellence and quality?

Finding a broader definition of your organizational culture is good too, there are many ways to understand your company culture. In fact, new research shows that the tactics above can be effective and measured in various national settings. To read more about what questions can help you create and reinforce a strong company culture, click here to read the full article.


Post a comment