Improving your organisational culture

How to positively affect your company culture

Organisational culture is a term used to describe the collective values and behaviours within your company.

The organisational culture defines the unique social environment within your corporation. This social environment can have a significant effect on your staff productivity and engagement levels.

Organisational culture is also known as company culture, corporate culture or organisational climate.

Organisational culture

Subcultures within your company

Within larger organisations you may also encounter subcultures. Subcultures can for example develop in hierarchical levels, departments or social groups.

Subcultures can conflict with each other or the main organisation culture. Organisations are recommended discourage subcultures where possible to avoid general conflict and clashes in communication between departments.

Creation of company culture

The company culture furthermore reflects the norms, beliefs, goals, language, use of symbols, systems, assumptions and habits within that organisation.

Your organisational culture is the result of many factors. Some factors are:

  • Management style
  • Type of products and services you sell
  • Company strategy
  • Type of employees you recruit

Company culture

Company culture and communication

The organisational culture in your business affects how staff interacts with others in their team, organisation, with clients, suppliers and other stakeholders.

Companies who clearly communicate the company mission, vision and values to their employees have a much stronger and positive organisational culture.

The effects of your company culture on staff

A strong positive organisational culture can help all aspects of your organisation prosper. However, a negative organisational culture can be detrimental to your team’s productivity levels.

A positive culture will strengthen employee loyalty and motivation while a negative culture requires more management, control and monitoring of staff.

Within a negative organisational culture, employee values and personal goals are often not in line with those of the organisation.

Aspects to focus on to improve your organisational culture

Your HR department needs to understand your employees. They are there to help to support each individual throughout their recruitment, induction, training and growth process during their employment.

The HR department furthermore needs to manage employees’ wellbeing with a commercial approach and:

  • Ensure opportunities for development, training and growth are available
  • Maintain and strengthen clear channels of communication
  • Promote equality and diversity throughout your organisation
  • Ensure leadership has the right skills to manage your teams and employees quickly and correctly
  • Recognise and reward employees for hard work and strong results

A strong organisational culture will also help companies adapt to internal and external changes more swiftly. By accurately managing HR procedures companies can easily communicate with their employees. Furthermore, through structured communication channels companies can offer incentives to stimulate employee engagement and motivation levels.

Organisational culture

Company culture management tips

There are many ways to help communicate the organisational culture to your staff members. Some proven strategies are:

  • Storytelling for purposes of communication
    Stories can help to clarify the difference between good and bad attitudes. You can use fictional staff members that go through specific situations to explain the attitude the company wishes each employee to adopt.
  • Use of metaphors to describe the company and the employees   
    Some commonly used metaphors in companies are describing:
    1. Staff as family
    2. Teams as packs of animals
    3. Corporations as machines
  • Ceremonies and public rewards
    The implementation of ceremonies and publications can support and promote the organisational admosphere in a more structured convention. An example for this would be a monthly newsletter to promote success stories or a monthly reward structure and ceremony for best performers.

Negative effects of a poor organisational culture

When you do not pay attention to your company culture it may deteriorate. This can have negative effects to your entire organisation as a result.

An NHS trust based in Liverpool was recently exposed for having a detrimental company culture which led to staff feeling victimised and afraid to speak up, and this eventually began affecting patients too.

You may see negative effects on:

  • Employee satisfaction
  • Staff turnover
  • Employee engagement
  • Productivity levels
  • Customer service quality
  • Communication between teams
  • Productive meetings
  • Achieving of goals

For your organisation to run optimally you need to strive for a positive and inclusive organisational culture, where your employees feel comfortable and motivated.

Company culture

Positive effects of strongly managed organisational admosphere       

Organisations with positive company culture will experience many benefits.

Organisations will have:

  • Lower staff turnover and save on recruitment and training costs as a result
  • Improved staff morale
  • Improved productivity levels
  • Efficient communication lines between individuals and teams
  • High quality of services and customer support

The importance of HR to manage your company culture

As an organisation, you will need to pay attention to your company admosphere.

You should be proactive in engaging staff members for overall increase of employees’ job satisfaction levels. Your HR department is perfectly positioned to structure and positively influence your organisational culture through processes and support.

Most organisations, however, have trouble seeing the importance of a well-run HR department. These organisations will often attempt to spare costs by keeping HR services to an absolute minimum. In fact, having strong HR support services in place for your organisation will save you in costs and improve your profits throughout your organisation.

HR support services help you improve and maintain a good organisational culture as well as take care of your day to day HR needs. PeoplePointHR offers full-service HR support to organisations across the UK. Our services include phone, email and onsite support and fully integrate with your own internal processes.