The Role of Organization Culture in an Organization

“Our assets walk out of the door each evening. We have to make sure that they come back the next morning,” – a famous quote by N.R. Narayana Murthy.

Every organization is dependent on its top performers for a year-on-year growth. But what happens when the brightest stars of your organization leave? Many times, the reasons to change are the monetary benefits, the perks and business exposure. You can handle those situations, at-least temporarily. But what if the reason to change is the organization’s culture?

Does this mean that organizational culture has a role in retaining the balance 88% of employees? Let’s have a look.

Statistics reveal that while 89% of employers in the U.S think that employees leave for money, in reality, only 12% leave for a better pay.

The key takeaway from this blog will be to explore the role of an organization culture in businesses today and the value it beholds.

There are numerous definitions of an organization culture however the basic idea it refers to is a group of values, beliefs, and behaviors that are created and maintained by the organizations leaders and carried forth by the employees which differentiates one organization from another. So the next time you hear anyone say – “that’s the way we do things around here”, “the rituals of our company”, “the company climate”, “the reward system”, “our basic values”, “we believe” and so on, they’re referring to their organization culture.

Organization Culture is perceived differently by enterprises. There are businesses that realize its significance and spend proportionately to either improve or sustain a positive culture while there are others who have ignored it all together. Although it is difficult to statistically show the impact of an organization culture, it is believed that employees from corporations with a strong organization culture experience a sense of belonging, engagement and commitment towards their organization which is indeed critical for success. The key role of a work culture are enlisted below:

  • Organization culture goes a long way in creating the brand image of the organization. The work culture gives an identity to the organization. In other words, an organization is known by its culture.
  • The culture shapes the way employees interact at their workplace. A healthy culture encourages the employees to stay motivated and loyal towards the management. Additionally, the work culture promotes healthy relationship amongst the employees. It also goes a long way in promoting healthy competition at the workplace. It is the culture of the workplace which actually motivates the employees to perform.
  • The organization culture helps build an emotional attachment to the enterprise. The culture cultivates a sense of belonging and commitment towards the corporation and develops a sense of unity at the workplace.
  • Every organization must have set guidelines for the employees to work accordingly. The culture of an organization represents certain predefined policies which guide the employees and give them a sense of direction at the workplace. Every individual is clear about his roles and responsibilities in the organization and know how to accomplish the tasks ahead of the deadlines. Additionally, such policies help mold positive habits into individuals which make them successful professionals. It is the culture of the organization which extracts the best out of each team member.

Now we all know that employee retention is a key concern for organizations. Unlike previously, it is time consuming, costly, and often the individuals who leave take proprietary knowledge that is impossible to replace. Hence managements are realizing the importance of holding on to their existing people. But how probable do you think it is to convince your employees to not make the switch? Now every employment proposition consists of some mixture of tangibles such as pay and benefits, and intangibles such as relationships with colleagues, work-life balance, and trust in management. Thus, when the current position is not meeting employee’s needs, an opportunity to join another organization crops up.

So, to answer the question, if the reason to change is tangible – it may not be a huge task to retain the talent. However, if it’s the latter – the management does have a task at hand. Because, organization culture cannot change instantaneously. Nonetheless, organization culture influences all the aspects mentioned above. Organizations rewarding their employees on high performance instill a sense of satisfaction and achievement within the individuals.

A work environment where employees are encouraged to pursue their interests, such as represent the company at a sport competition, trigger the emotional connect with the organization.

Vishal Sikka, the CEO of Infosys, gifted iPhone 6s to 3,000 top performing employees. What’s more, the CEO also wrote an accompanying mail to the employees, addressing them as friends. Such a gesture undoubtedly has a positive influence on the workforce.

Moreover, balancing life and work is increasingly important for employees nowadays in deciding whether to stick with an employer.

In a healthy organizational culture, managers provide ways to maintain that balance, including flexible schedules, on-site amenities and work-from-home options. Additionally, work cultures where company-wide goals percolate to employees of all levels, where employees are encouraged to work in collaboration and where all are given opportunities for training, new learning, growth, and promotion also have positive impacts on retention.

Therefore, we can say there is no doubting the significance of organizational culture when it comes to engaging and retaining valuable employees. It is one of the important components that leaders can employ to sustain performance, build emotional connect and maintain competitive advantage. And hence, that is why it is considered a fundamental business strategy. But for now, I wish to conclude by saying that Organization Culture does play a crucial role in organizations – it is a valuable asset and a key driver for employees.


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