Organizational culture: Why is it important?

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“The organizational culture is the personality of a company.”

Companies often assume that the level of employee commitment to them is constant and fixed. The same occurs with productivity even when, in fact, there are many circumstances that influence both. In these cases, organizational culture has a lot to do with how an employee feels in the company, their level of commitment, and their productivity. So what does organizational culture have to have in order to make a difference? What is its impact on employees?

What is Organizational Culture?

It can be defined as the set of beliefs, values and practices shared within a company. Organizational culture is the personality of a company, shown in its fixed elements such as: working hours, training courses, vacation days, internal celebrations, communication style, external activities, way of doing things, etc. In the same way, it is how the company is able to adapt to the changes that are arising, both internally and in society.

What are the characteristics of a defined organizational culture?

A company with a defined culture has a clear purpose and strategy. Within those limitations, it is usually a flexible culture, for example, if it is able to adapt to the country in which it operates. There are apparently strong cultures that, by not knowing how to adapt to changes, have lost their appeal with employees, and therefore, one of their competitive advantages.

Identity

A company identity is created, which is identified by the brand, the team and the customers. By this we mean the association of the brand as: colors, way of working or personality of the brand among others.

Personality

Another characteristic is that of the employees and their personalities. In other words, in companies with a flexible culture, they tend to hire proactive people, with cognitive flexibility and versatility. These are people who react in a coherent way before sudden changes.

What are the benefits of working in this type of culture? How is the conciliation of work and personal life? How are they encouraged or penalized? Are there social actions? Is there a social reason as a company? What is the working climate like? All these are questions that have to be asked in a company when defining a good culture.

Dynamism

Organizatinal culture should not be static, it should be changed and revised over time. An example is the onboarding of new team members, who are integrated into the work environment as soon as they join the team. This can be interesting, since when it comes to making decisions among team members, they may or may not be at the same stage of product knowledge if they haven’t had a correct onboarding.

Shared perspective

A defined company culture is also characterized by a shared perspective among the different teams and departments.

The shared perspective of the different teams and departments. That there is a strong mission and vision as well as consistency and clarity. That they are not just satisfied people, but that they are involved and committed. 

What has been the role of organizational culture in times of a pandemic?

During the pandemic, companies have had to suddenly renew their policies and ways of doing things. In some cases, they have been inclined to opt for the balance between work and personal life of employees to take care of their well-being. In fact, a study by Glassdoor confirms that during the pandemic, ratings on employee satisfaction have increased in companies that have a strong corporate culture and values.

As we can see, strong organizational cultures are not only capable of successfully adapting to changes, but they also manage to have workers with a mission and vision aligned to that of the company. This, in addition to allowing changes or transitions to flow in a better way, allows maintaining better communication, and keep employees satisfied and motivated with their work.

At Erudit we want to help you taking care of your workers in these challenging times, monitoring their levels of engagement, burn out and friction (without the need of applying a single survey) and finding ways to maintain a healthy and productive team of collaborators.

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