What should I know about Organizational Culture and it’s effect on HR Management?

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What should I know about Organizational Culture and it’s effect on HR Management?

Organizations, like people, have personalities some more pleasant than others. The culture of an organization establishes the environment in which all work and transactions are done.

More specifically, organizational culture affects how:

  • Policies are written and enforced,
  • Decisions are made,
  • Employee actions are handled,
  • Employee communications are conducted,
  • Trust is established.

Many companies, recognizing the significance of a positive culture, are actively pursuing strategies to reshape their culture for the better. However, organizational culture by its definition is ingrained in the organization and is very difficult to change. To do so requires determination, stamina and consistency.  Cultural change cannot be accomplished overnight.

According to an article posted on Gallup: Workplace, “A culture that doesn’t just exist but that wins for your organization is one you must intentionally create. Strong organizations understand their unique culture, use multiple methods to continuously monitor the state of their culture and align the culture they want with business performance priorities — like attracting top talent.”

Perhaps the need for a company to change their culture may result from a thoughtful internal assessment of:

  • How things get done,
  • How decisions are really made,
  • How personnel interact with one another and clients,
  • Where the power bases in the company actually lie,
  • The effectiveness of the leadership team.

The need for cultural change may also be driven by external factors, such as the need to retain or establish a competitive advantage.

Cultures, like individuals, are not all good or all bad. In addition, even successful cultures typically vary a great deal from company to company. The type of industry, geographic location, and composition of the workforce all have impact on the culture of an organization. A manufacturing plant in the south would typically have a very different culture than a technology company in Silicon Valley.

All companies have shared organizational values, beliefs, and practices (even if they don’t formally address them), which are widely known and affect the success of the organization.