We explain what organizational culture is and why it is so important for companies. What are its elements and how its climate is defined.
What is organizational culture?
Organizational culture is understood as the beliefs, values, habits, traditions, attitudes and experiences of an organization .
Because every organization is made up of people, this culture is made up of the different individual values that make an organizational whole . However, the organizational culture is not simply the sum of the individualities that work in a given organization or company.
On the contrary, the organizational culture is previous to the individual ones. This means that every organizational culture forms its bases and then adapts to the staff (employees) that will constitute such organizational culture.
Organizational culture is also often defined as the set of norms and values that people have within a given organization.
The purpose of organizational culture is to control the way in which people interact with each other (and abroad) to interact.
The organizational culture is, in short, the psychology of a company. In other words, it is the human core of the company, it is the behavior of the sum of its employees, it is the image that this organization provides to the society in which it is inserted, it is the process of selecting its employees and its suppliers as well.
It can serve you: Organizational Development.
Importance of organizational culture
The organizational culture has two major axes of importance: an internal one (related to its staff, managers, working environment, etc.) and the other one related to the (external) society; with the environment, with neighborhood, charitable, government activities, etc.
The organizational culture guides the direction of the company as it guides the way in which each company or organization should conduct itself . It also directs the deal with its employees, customers and society in general.
Every employee seeks to identify with a certain organizational culture. Hence the importance in relation to these lies in an adequate identification of values, beliefs, habits, norms and customs among employees and the organizational culture.
With respect to the society in which the company is inserted the organization, the organizational culture serves as a spokesperson for the way in which that company relates to society, that is, its image; the way in which it takes care of (or not) the environment, its interest in its environment, its influence and participation in neighborhood activities, etc.
Elements of organizational culture
Within the organizational culture there are different elements that constitute it:
- Identity of the organization: What type of company is it? What are your values? What are your goals? What is your mission?
- Control systems: The organizational culture must have control systems, that is, processes that monitor what is happening inside a company with human capital (that is, with employees and managers).
- Power structures: It establishes who or who are the decision makers, how it is distributed and in what percentages.
- Symbols: This includes the logos and any design (visual and auditory support) that the company has. Parking lots or exclusive bathrooms for executives are also symbols of power and fit into this section.
- Rituals and routines: This includes all business meetings, business groups, performance reports, etc. Often these can be formal but also many companies have many rites or routines informally.
- Stories, myths and anecdotes: This is the implicit message that underlies the entire organization. The stories tell the rise of organizations; its bases and its growth, its current impact on the market, etc. The anecdotes are narratives of real stories that employees with seniority tell new employees. In other words, the message that is valued within the organizational culture of each company.
Each of these elements works together with the others, being able to overlap if necessary.
Climate of the organizational culture
The climate of the organizational culture will be defined by the following:
- Physical environment. It refers to the facilities, the equipment installed with which the company has, the temperature of the workplace, brightness, hygiene, comfort of access to it, etc.
- Structural characteristics It has to do with the hierarchical structure of the organization, how is its formal structure, the style of direction among other variables.
- Social environment. It refers to the relationship between employees, managers, departments, etc.
- Personal characteristics Employee expectations, attitudes, motivations, desires, goals, etc. are included here.
- Organizational behavior. It has to do with the level of satisfaction existing in the organization, the way to control absenteeism late arrivals, the amount of turnover or not of employees, the pressure with which one works daily, etc.