Culture an any form, is the shared value and beliefs a group of people follow. When it comes to organizational culture, the ‘shared’ value and beliefs in an organization, governs how people behave and their decisions.
Or in more simple terms, “Culture is how organizations ‘do things’.” — Robbie Katanga*
How important is it? Well, Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos.com) said,
“If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.”
We all know how Google is known for their ‘awesome’ corporate culture*. The facilities provided at their head-office, is in itself a jaw-dropper, but their continuous importance given to office atmosphere, employee recognition, and community welfare has made Google’s corporate culture into a benchmark most companies strive to achieve.
But what if a company doesn’t pay attention to all that. They don’t have well-incorporated values, neither they find any importance in recognizing employee accomplishments. This behavior then leads to top-management pursuing personal agendas, middle-management slacks off and lower-management gets the grit of the work. Organizational politics may ensue and overall employee productivity may drop. Okay, all that maybe a bit exaggerated. But I’m saying based on experience (albeit a couple of years).
For example; manager disagrees with their boss for a medium-impact-but-high-budget item, boss wouldn’t budge from their decision or would stall the approval, manager starts to micromanage the team, atmosphere become intolerable during meetings, everyone has a bad day at work.
Now the above might happen anywhere, but how often does it happen? Is the Boss (probably a Baby-Boomer) at fault for being stingy against change? Is the Manager (probably a Gen-X) being stubborn because they want recognition? Is the Team (probably Millennials) being exploited
because well, they are millennials?
When I was job-hunting; among all other company/position characteristics, I paid attention to corporate culture most of the time. I will effect how I’ll work, what I’ll do, and most importantly, if I’ll like to work there and how I’ll grow as an employee – as a person.
So depending on who manages the unit, department, or the organization; they will have considerable amount of power over how the organizational culture is developed within their ‘territory’. Specially when an organization is in a silo-structure, it becomes important to make sure that each silo has a strong culture in itself.
Corporate Culture is the intangible, internal beast of the organization that is sleeping. you can let it sleep, or awaken it and win over your competition.
1* What is Organizational Culture?” Via HBR
2* Google’s Organizational Culture Via OfficeVibe
Photo via VisualHunt.com