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In a recent survey published in Forbes undertaken by The Alternative Board, 39% of respondents concluded that Management style is the key driver for Organizational or Company Culture. Employee experience weighed in second with 30% respondents and Company reputation garnered 18%. This survey of small businesses across industries also revealed that Business owners impacted culture significantly. That brings us to the question – What are the drivers of organizational culture? We’ll start by defining organizational culture.

What is organizational culture

Organizational culture is the way in which people in an organization relate to each other, their work and the outside world, in comparison with other organizations. Your Organizational Culture shows how your organization works: how things get done, the interactions between people, and employee relationships to their work and the outside world. The best organizations often place equal emphasis on strategy and culture. Such organizations create a culture that motivates their teams. Organizational Culture is what differentiates your business, so it is important to know the various factors that contribute to your company’s culture.

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Organic culture vs Active Culture

Organic culture vs Active Culture

An organic approach means that management takes more of an observational approach to culture development so that culture develops naturally over time, or that the culture of the organization has not been considered at all. There are serious limitations and risks involved with the organic growth of your culture because it’s left to take its own direction – and this may not be aligned with your organization’s goals.

An active approach to Organizational Culture refers to organizations where the  management takes the lead in proactively defining and implementing an optimal organizational culture. This can involve leading by example, training sessions, consultant guidance and more. It’s important to remember that while Organizational Culture manifests over time on its own, taking a more active approach will help you strategically design it. With proper guidance on your part, you can shape it to benefit your employees, adapt to the current business landscape, provide better customer service and stand out from competitors. Hofstede Insights can work with you and help you actively design an optimal culture to support your business strategy, both in the short and long run.

Find out how Hofstede Insights can help you implement a more active approach to your organizational culture 

The drivers of Organizational Culture

The culture of an organization is shaped by events and practices within your organisation. Knowing what influences this can help you perpetuate a strong culture that will support your business strategy and enable you to achieve excellent results:

Leadership Style: how is your company is being managed? What is the hierarchical  structure and what are the decision-making methods and the ways in which policies are enforced in your organisation?

Mission, Vision and Value: this hinges on the purpose of your business and what your products and services stand for. Your mission, vision and values mirror your intentions, and these are important factors that inspire your employees.

Work Environment: The kind of workplace you have defines how employees undertake their tasks and interact with their colleagues.

Communication: can influence employee-to-employee, employee-to-management and employee-to-clients relationships. This also depends on how people share information in your organization and whether you encourage transparency in internal communications.

Orientation: Is your business people-oriented, task-oriented or function-oriented? Knowing the priorities of your business can help you either maintain or improve the existing culture in your workplace.

Hofstede Insights can help you build an effective and sustainable organizational culture.

Both the Management and Employees have a role in shaping Organizational culture

Top management needs to be actively involved. Management’s role is to design the optimal culture according to the organisation’s core values and needs. The activities and initiatives you implement must also clearly reflect what your business represents to ensure that your Organizational Culture is on the right track to support your company’s success. It’s also critical to identify your ideal culture and share it with appropriate stakeholders so you can guide them, and they can play an active role in its development.

Moving toward a culture that makes more sense for your organisation also lies in the hands of your employees. The people inside your organisation are paramount in transforming the overall company culture.

Employees have a key role and can make a significant contribution. By being culture advocates your team can display your company’s culture in the way they relate to other workers, how they work themselves and how they represent the business to the outside world. Culture will only translate into success if everyone in the team is aligned with each other and united with a common purpose and accountability.

Reach out to us to discuss the challenges faced by your organization and practical steps to build an optimal Organizational Culture


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