A Great Organisational Culture Helps Improve Employee Engagement
Posted Nov 24th, 2015 by Expedite | 0 comments
Every organisation has a unique operational environment that forms its own intrinsic culture. This might include the values and beliefs that characterise the way its people work together.
In the words of Kirk Kramer, Partner at Bridgespan Group, “Changing culture isn’t as simple as identifying the new behaviours you want to see and articulating a new set of beliefs and values associated with these. Most people won’t change their behaviours until they observe the role models in their organisation acting differently, and when they see this new behaviour positively recognised and rewarded - a clear promotion, a plum assignment, a change in authority or responsibility, or simply praise from the top of the organization.”
In order to create an effective organisational culture you need to ensure that all your employees have a common understanding of the purpose and values of the organisation. You also need to ask yourself the following questions:
- How do we handle disagreements?
- How do we define success?
- How innovative are we?
The answers to all the above questions collectively make up your organisational culture. A healthy organisational culture impacts the way employees act and perform in their roles. It can promote healthy competition and encourage employees to perform better than their fellow workers. This is also a great tool towards creating the brand image of the organisation.
There are seven important features that characterise an organisation’s culture:
A company that places importance on innovation encourages its employees to take risks and provides a challenging work environment. This is a great way to boost performance.
A work culture that places a high value on attention to detail, expects its employees to perform their tasks with precision. Such a culture would dictate the degree to which an employee is expected to be accurate.
- Achievement Orientation –
A company that is focused on achieving results, but not on how the results are achieved, places a very high emphasis on the value of an organisation’s culture.
In order to create a strong work culture it is important for an organisation to realise how its decisions will affect everyone else. Such a company treats its employees with dignity and respect.
Teamwork is a very important aspect of a healthy organisational culture. Companies that organise work activities around teams instead of individuals, promote positive working relationships.
- Competitive Orientation –
Companies that have an aggressive culture are focused on outperforming the competition and expect their employees to be assertive and collaborate to achieve successful outcomes.
A rule-oriented company places high importance on stability and consistent output levels. Such a company has clear expectations on its employees and would provide consistent feedback.
Changing or upgrading the Organisational Culture
Changing an organisations culture can be a difficult leadership challenge because it must align all the goals, processes, values and attitudes of the organisation as a whole. This is a large-scale undertaking, but would be beneficial for any organisation.
- Evaluation of the existing work culture
Before you can make any changes to your organisational culture, you need to be aware of the current culture and performance. Identify the values your organisations holds in high esteem, the strengths that help you grow and the weaknesses that are holding you back.
This is a very important step towards improving the culture of your organisation. Clearly define the expected behaviours that need to be consistently exhibited in your organisation. Communicate how you will work together with your employees to improve any weak areas.
Define the objectives that support each strategic priority. Ensure that employees across all levels of the organisation understand how their goals and measures impact the entire organisation. (A SMART goal is defined as one that is specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and time bound.)
- Maintain a management system
Implement a system to track and monitor priorities and goals. Focus on the results and supporting behaviours that ensure success. This helps in removing barriers and emphasises expected behaviours and results.
Feedback and recognition is a very integral part of improving the organisational culture. Share and celebrate success in a transparent manner. This encourages and engages employees to do better than what is expected of them.
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