Organisational Culture: How important is it?

February 22, 2017 | Joan Chan

Organisational culture is one of the latest buzzwords in the human resource industry. Unlike the usual fads that come and go, this is backed by research which shows that  culture does indeed play a significant role in any organisation, and that it would be wise to take culture into consideration in  strategic business planning and decisions. Let’s look into some ways a strong corporate culture can drive business goals and achieve success for your organisation.

 

A Strong Organisational Culture guides managers and employees

In an organisation with a strong culture, the organisation’s mission and values are clear and easily identified, and are intensely held and widely shared amongst the employees. This guides how managers/stakeholders and employees in the company think, their beliefs and attitudes, what they value and consequently, how they go about fulfilling their roles in the organisation. Culture also defines the behavioral norms in the organisation; it differentiates acceptable from unacceptable work practices, behavior and social interactions.


A Strong Organisational Culture fosters a sense of belonging and identity

Employees are united by a strong organisational culture, despite having vastly different backgrounds. This is especially prevalent in larger MNCs, who have to work doubly hard to manage multiculturalism in the workplace. Differing demographics are only the artifacts; they give rise to the greater issue of employees having varied attitudes, mentalities and behaviors. With a strong organisational culture, employees are united by their vision, goal and work values, irrespective of differences.


A Strong Organisational Culture leads to employee engagement, job satisfaction and lower turnover rates

When organisational culture is strong, employee engagement and commitment to the organisation tend to be equally high as well - everyone in the company,  from senior management to the rank-and-file workers, shares similar ideals and is in agreement with the organisation's ideals and direction. Having a strong culture brings all employees onboard in working towards the company’s goals and vision, enabling them to feel that the role they play and their input contributes to business outcomes. When employees share the same vision and ideals of the organisation, they will also be more likely to enjoy their job, thrive in the organisation and consequently, be more likely to stay on.


A Strong Organisational Culture helps the company to achieve business goals

If an organisation is meticulous in culture planning such that there is strong identity aligned with the organisation’s overall business strategy, business goals can be more easily achieved as a whole. For instance, if an organisation aims to be the most innovative, up-to-date technology provider and market leader in their industry, a strong culture that favours creativity and risk-taking and will certainly power them towards their vision.

 

Now what?

Given the benefits of a strong organisational culture, the next step would be to leverage on this. However, managing organisational culture is easier said than done. Often, managers have difficulty in tackling cultural issues due to the dynamics and indistinctive qualities of the concept. In our upcoming post, we will delve deeper into some tools we have found that can be used to manage organisational culture in alignment with business strategy so you could reap the benefits.

Tags:   organisational culture