Organizational Culture in Business
Several factors usually contribute to the success or failure of organizational change. One of the most important and often overlooked is organizational culture. Culture is the invisible hand that shapes everything organizations do: how they make decisions, treat each other, work together, and how they perform.
Jonathan Osler states that for companies to have an organizational culture in business, they must “promote the values, behaviours and norms that align with intended results.” Osler also says to have a solid organizational culture, there should be a clear mission statement. This way, it will attract employees who believe in the same values and support its goals.
According to him, there are six critical steps to creating a thriving organizational culture:
Define the culture:
This means coming up with a set of values, behaviours and norms that represent the company. It’s essential to be specific when defining the culture so everyone is on the same page.
Communicate the culture:
This means sharing the company’s values with employees, customers and suppliers. Everyone needs to be aware of what the company stands for and what’s expected.
Model the culture:
This means living up to the standards and values of the company as an example for others. It’s important not to expect others to follow your lead if you aren’t willing to do the same.
Reinforce the culture:
He says, “It’s not enough to simply communicate a set of values and norms; organizations must consistently reinforce them throughout the organization”. For example, if it’s stated that everyone is treated equally in an organization, promotion opportunities will need to be available to all employees. He says that you should avoid creating “a culture of status, consumption or secrecy” because this will mislead others and set them on a wrong path.
Evaluate the culture:
It’s essential to regularly check in with others and ensure everyone is on the same page. He recommends providing feedback as often as possible, such as through surveys or informal conversations. He states the importance of celebrating successes and recognizing those who do things right. Give rewards when appropriate, but make sure to avoid favouritism.
Evolve, but don’t destroy:
Even when everything is going well, and the culture in an organization is thriving, Osler says it’s essential to recognize that things will always change. He doesn’t think organizations should be afraid of change; he encourages it because it allows organizations to adapt to new challenges and create fresh opportunities. He also emphasizes that when changing something in your organizational culture, you need to ensure everyone knows what the change is, why it’s happening and how they’re expected to behave. Once any changes are implemented, they should be “consistently and frequently communicated.” Osler says that when you make any changes in your organizational culture, make sure they’re aligned with the company’s mission statement.
Creating a thriving organizational culture is vital for any company. It ensures that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal. By following the above key steps by Jonathan Osler, you can create a culture aligned with your company’s values and support its intended results.