Organizational culture is a set of shared values that guide what happens in organizations by defining appropriate behavior for various situations. It is also the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving and, even, thinking and feeling. Thus, organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders. In addition, organizational culture may affect how employees identify with an organization.
Great company cultures have certain unique characteristics. These are company cultures that represent inclusiveness, openness, adaptability, and growth, and they are typically characterized by a great degree of team camaraderie and engagement.
Characteristics of a great organizational culture include:
- Awareness, acceptance and appreciation for diverse cultures. A company culture that embraces diversity and is built on tolerance and mutual respect, which promotes unity and a sense of togetherness.
- Clear sense of direction and purpose. Employees have an understanding of their roles and strive to optimize performance to meet both short and long term goals
- Regard for equal and fair treatment of each employee as well as respect for each employee’s contribution to the company
- Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organization and the work performed
- Equal opportunity for each employee to realize their full potential within the company
- Strong communication channels with all employees regarding policies and company issues. Communication that is clear and is transferred in a courteous, and concise manner
- Inculcates a culture of openness in which feedback is given and received with sensitivity to diversity of cultures, personalities, and situations.
- Emphasis on teamwork with a focus on team accomplishments rather than on individual accomplishments, encourages collaboration, and allows for tasks to be completed in a more efficient manner.
- Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose
- Provides scope for career growth of employees, both in terms of skill upgradation and in terms of their ability to grow as individuals or as teams.
- Ability to compete in industry innovation and customer service, as well as price
- Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture)
- Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge
A healthy and robust organizational culture may provide various benefits, including the following:
- Competitive edge derived from innovation
- Consistent, efficient employee performance
- Team cohesiveness
- High employee morale
- Strong company alignment towards goal achievement
- Better aligning the company towards achieving its vision, mission, and goals
- High employee motivation and loyalty
- Increased team cohesiveness among the company’s various departments and divisions
- Promoting consistency and encouraging coordination and control within the company
- Shaping employee behavior at work, enabling the organization to be more efficient