Organizational culture, simply speaking, refers to all the values and behaviors that create the unique environment of the organization. When we allude to the company, we may call it ‘company culture’. I very much like the nifty term coined by A. Kennedy and T. Deal who described organizational culture as ‘the way things get done around here.’ We can easily imagine how complex the whole culture of the company might be, full of both good and bad practices.
Here, we’ll focus on the best positive behaviors and values that make the company great. Let’s make a swanky list!
1. Goal transparency
Goal-setting helps everyone, not only individuals but also in macro scale such as the company. When there’s a clear goal ahead, all employees and leadership are aware what is the purpose of their work. Such behavior provides focus on what’s the most important and brings clarity to decision making, resulting in better management of time and resources.
2. Emphasis on the future
This one might seem similar to the previous subsection but not completely. Goal transparency, of course, requires a look to the future, but they can be both small and big goals. However, putting emphasis on the future means that there’s a great vision, or let’s say a dream, how will the company grow and change.
3. Additional recognition and reward
In one of the episodes of the drama series ‘Mad Men’, the character named Peggy demanded some recognition for her excellent work from her boss. The boss has only shouted out a cut-throat comment: „That’s what money is for!”. Well, we all know that no one works for free, but additional recognition and reward would be in place. It could be a sincere compliment, words of thanks, a small gift of appreciation, a Kudos badge. The employees appreciate it.
4. Promotion of innovation
Once, Bill Gates said: “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.”. The quotation is far from being a justification of laziness, but rather an approbation of unorthodox approach. It is of great value to support innovative ways to solve problems. The company can only benefit from that.
5. Good leaders
Unfortunately, it occurs that some people to hate their boss, or even an idea of having a boss. However, a well-executed chain of command can be beneficial. We are talking about the situation when bosses, or managers, provide employees with support, guidance, feedback. It is comforting to have someone who coordinates team effort and offers a helping hand in the time of need. If Winston Churchill was a CEO of a successful company instead, I bet he would say: ”Great employees are our salvation but inspiring leaders alone provide the means of victory”. Reference here.
6. Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge
Recently, some scientists in Vienna totally busted the myth that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. You can. Why am I talking about dogs all of the sudden? Well, I am not. What I want to say is that there’s always room for learning and it is never too late. Great companies are aware of that fact and they will never cease to invest in their employees. It is beneficial for both the organization and an employee personally.
7. Acceptance and appreciation for diversity
There’s a reason why both Microsoft and Hollywood directors extensively hire foreign workers. A diverse workforce is beneficial. It adds to the collection different languages and cultural understanding. Moreover, a diversity provides the company with a larger variety of viewpoints and approaches to problems, resulting in the more efficient execution of the tasks. Not to mention the fact that it teaches the employees how to approach other cultures and overcome barriers, skills so necessary in the modern globalized world.
8. Development of ethical and legal sensitivity
This trait is highly important for both the employees and the clients. The former don’t want to do anything illegal or unethical. After all, they joined an innovative company, not a mob. Getting the employees involved in some shady business crushes morale and causes stress levels to skyrocket. When it comes to the latter – the clients, they want to work together with honest companies that won’t do any damage to their reputation. A good company will always show that it is morally and legally sensitive.
9. Keeping the employees comfortable
Just before the Oakland Athletics baseball team started their successful season, the team manager installed vending machines filled with free soda. It might seem insignificant, but even the smallest comforts can make a difference. Google employees energize themselves in the high-tech nap pods. Various music or games rooms are standard in big tech companies nowadays. Creating a friendly office for all keeps the productivity and engagement high. It doesn’t mean that every company has to invest in expensive furniture or gaming consoles, but even in the small affordable gestures: a quiet room to relax, some healthy food, lunch breaks and fresh coffee. The employees deserve a comfortable workplace if they are supposed to provide consistent results.
10. Team Orientation
I’ve saved what’s arguably the most important practice for last. I’ve saved the arguably the most imp for the last. Namely, teamwork is the trait absolutely worth developing. A good team may overcome any challenges, whether in sales, app development or sending people to the moon. However, what is needed in order to create conditions for effective teamwork?
Primarily, it is about trust and desire to cooperate with each other. The leadership should find a way to promote such a behavior, for instance, via motivation systems for teams. It should be pointed out to the employees how beneficial working together is. A feedback that shows the growth in performance and results tends to encourage them to do that. It is worth remembering, though everyone in the team should be able to share their comments and propose solutions to problems. Just like in a baseball team, each member has different skills, but working as a whole leads to victory. Such practice significantly boosts the engagement and helps cultivate creativity. Also, the employee may find comfort in the thought that it works just like in Three Musketeers, “All for one and one for all”. No matter how difficult problem may lie ahead, there’s a great team to solve them.
Teamwork is a practice that every company should take advantage of.