Why Understanding Your Organizations Culture Is Important

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In order to understand what organizational culture is you should first understand what the word culture means. Culture is defined as the beliefs, values, attitudes, underlying assumptions, and behaviors shared by a group of people. Culture is also the behavior that results when a group arrives at a set of unspoken and unwritten rules for working together.
An organizations culture is made up of the combined life experiences that each employee brings to the organization. An organizations culture can be characterized by a groups daily work practices, language, decision making skills, the nature of the business or industry, values and workplace policies, and even the geographical and physical surroundings can play a part.
Something as little as the pictures that were chosen to hang on the wall can tell a lot about how employees participate in an organizations culture. Try paying attention to the information on the bulletin board or in the company news letter. How do employees interact with others in meetings, at lunch, on breaks or at the proverbial water cooler? Start to take notice of the little things you probably have been over looking all this time and you will start to better understand your organizations culture.
Most people probably dont think about what it means to understand the culture of their organization. All they know is they have to show up for work do their job and do it well in order to get a pay check. When you think about it, the majority of people spend more time with their co-workers than they do at home with their families.
The majority of people work anywhere from 40 to 60 hours a week and what they all hope for is a job that is enjoyable, meaningful and engaging. The time that is spent working for these organizations must be more valuable than the money they bring home each week. This is vital in order for them to feel good about spending all that time away from the ones they love. When people are engaged they are safer, more productive and happier. And when employees are happier so are the customers.
A company or organization should be concerned with its working environment, the relationships between employees and how things get done within that environment. This is because people are the organizations most valuable asset and therefore the organization should focus on building and sustaining those assets in order to build a solid, long-lasting and successful organization. It is for these basic reasons that understanding organizational culture is important.
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