94% of executives and 88% of employees believe a distinct workplace culture is important to business success. This was one of the key findings of a Deloitte survey on core beliefs and culture. The survey’s findings confirmed that there is a strong correlation between employees who say they are “happy at work” and feel “valued by [their] company” and those who say their organisation has a clearly articulated and lived culture. 83% of executives and 84% of employees rank having engaged and motivated employees as the top factor that substantially contributes to a company’s success. This brings us to the key question – Does your organisation have a clearly defined Organisational culture?
What is organisational culture
Organisational culture is the way in which people in an organisation relate to each other, their work and the outside world, in comparison with other organisations. Your Organisational Culture shows how your organisation works: how things get done, the interactions between people, and employee relationships to their work and the outside world. The best organisations often place equal emphasis on strategy and culture. Such organisations create a culture that motivates their teams.
The ideal organisational culture
We often get asked about the ideal Organisational Culture. This is a fundamental question for new businesses as well as established organisations seeking to recalibrate their culture. It’s important to find a sustainable culture that suits your organisation. Nothing demonstrates this better than the difference in culture between two successful automobile brands. Tesla has quickly acquired a cult following with its innovations in the electric car segment. Tesla’s Organisational Culture tends to lean more towards new technology and innovation, over, for instance, build quality. Alternatively, Jaguar has a history and reputation of premier build quality. If these two companies were to try and switch their Organisational Cultures, their ability to focus on these areas would undoubtedly change and have a far reaching impact about these brands are perceived by different sets of stakeholders.
One size doesn’t fit all
No two organisations, no matter how similar, are the same. Finding the ideal Organisational Culture is not just about replicating good industry practices or observing what others are doing. It requires that you take a hard look at how you can support your strategy through culture. Your Organisational Culture shows how your organisation works: how things get done, the interactions between people, and employee relationships to their work and the outside world. Organisational Culture determines how and if you are reaching your goals or key performance indicators (KPIs), so, it's crucial to ensure that your way of working supports what you want to achieve, rather than hinders it. By shaping an Organisational Culture that fits your needs, you will be positioning the organisation to be able to reach these goals.
Hofstede Insights can help you build the enabling Organisational Culture
Each business depends on a unique strategy for success. Your strategy is the ideal starting point to build a sustainable Organisational Culture. Identify the crux of your strategy. It could be:
- Promoting innovation
- Growing within your current market
- Following strict safety guidelines
- Being customer focused
- Aiming for a successful M&A
- Looking to reduce production costs
- Protecting confidential information
- Employee focus
Once you have decided on your point of focus or interest, you have to direct your Organisational Culture according to your strategy to reach that goal. What that looks like in practice may differ drastically depending on many factors such as your industry, your size, and National Cultures differences. At Hofstede Insights we’re specialised in supporting companies throughout this process.
Six steps to build the ideal Organisational Culture
Define your strategy: the vital first step. Even before you are able to align your Organisational Culture with your strategy, you have to clearly define what that strategy is.
Understand your current Organisational Culture: it’s important for you to get an impartial understanding of how your Organisational Culture is today. You can do this by seeking inputs for different areas of your organisation before you establish an overall view of the situation.
Identify areas of improvement: Once you have clearly defined your strategy and have an overview of your current Organisational Culture, you are ready to identify the gaps where improvements could be made.
Create an action plan: once you put together the big picture, you are now ready to create an action plan. In most cases you will have too many gaps to address at one time and that is why we suggest starting with the most beneficial ones to your organisation.
Monitor the progress: In order to ensure consistent monitoring, we recommend creating what we call Culture Squads. This means tasking a group of people with driving and monitoring change. Hofstede Insights provides training and mentoring for this as well.
Re-evaluate regularly: Consider evaluating and re-evaluating your Organisational Culture on a regular basis in order to make sure you are continuously moving in the right direction. This also helps you to understand if the actions you are taking are having the desired impact on your Organisational Culture or if different actions could have more impact.
Hofstede Insights can help you reach your Organisational Culture goals
Our objective is to make sure you reach your own goals, based on your own strategy. We support your team through the entire process of clarifying and aligning strategy with the Organisational Culture. Our Organisational Culture Scan helps us develop an impartial understanding of your current culture. This scan is based on six independent dimensions and each of these dimensions help identify the gaps between where your organisation is and where it wants to be.
Once the gaps have been determined, we can begin to evaluate which ones are most relevant to success. We also support organisations to create an action plan based on the most critical issues they are facing. By training and supporting “Culture Squads”, Hofstede Insights help you maintain and track progress. Finally, because our Scan is standardised, Organisational Culture can be measured when necessary and progress can be evaluated.