Organization culture is a part of
each and every company whether they might be aware of it or not. A lot of new,
up and coming companies consider this to be a very important factor which is
placed side by side the factor of wealth and resources required to run an
organization. For the culture of an organization, elements included are the
company’s norms, visions, values followed, beliefs, symbols and shared
attitudes that get passed on and carried from years to years as the company
goes through its life cycle of introducing itself to ultimately decaying or
even perishing due to lack of multiple important factors. Organizational
culture has a wide umbrella to cover everything it considers to be a part of
the company; from acting as a guide to members of a certain group to a
philosophy of a company and other details such as how should one behave
internally and externally as a representative of the organization itself.
Leaders are the ones who set up a
basic frame for organizational culture and they are the one’s responsible for
continuing to make sure that their frame doesn’t collapse and that it is a
stable one to which other additions can be done.
This framework of a certain
culture causes the company to operate in a manner which satisfies the company’s
goals and the personal goals of the employees. To put it in mathematical terms
organizational culture is directly proportional to job satisfaction and to
leadership. Thus good leadership results in satisfied employees and a healthy
work culture. Thus this is a crucial
factor for the process of employment in any company; if the qualities don’t
match the relationship between the company and the employee are bound to fail.
This concept of work culture is
often forgotten by multiple organizations due to their focus on short termed
goals which causes them a long term loss.
There are a variety of cultures
which may include; person culture – who care about the individuals than numbers
on a sheet while a market culture is quite the opposite and are achievement
driven. There are other cultures as well such as; adhocracy culture- often
regarded for its adaptability, innovation and factor of taking risks. Then
there’s clan culture where everyone is treated like family and everyone is in a
nurturing social environment. Lastly there is the hierarchical culture that
functions on the basis of structure, titles, timeliness and process. The amount
of stability and flexibility in structures matters a lot for deciding on a
Organizational culture is never static.
The culture is dynamic and keeps on adding a couple of modifications or
changing itself entirely from one time period to another. Most often the only
determinant to whether the culture is a right fit for the company is if
everything is functioning like a well oiled machine.
To nobody’s surprise it is
impossible to please everyone similarly it is near impossible to get everyone
on to your side, this leads to creation of subculture that help in maintain the
stability of the company intact. This causes a category of at least two
cultures in a organization out of which one is the dominant one while the other
is more subdued. The dominant culture in a organization is what is believed and
put to practice by majority while subculture followers often aren’t in favor of
all the elements under the dominant culture.
According to Cummings and Worley
there are six guidelines to changing culture in an organization which include;
keeping in mind a clear vision for the company, top management themselves
incorporating commitment and model to show the rest of their employee how to
function, to welcome newcomers and remove distractions and lastly to be ethical
and sensitive in running the company.
Organizational culture can be
learnt through different ways. It can be conveyed by being straight forward and
using language, rituals, symbols which are more materialistic and the most
common ones which are used by the majority of the companies are rituals and
stories that are passed down from one employee to another. Such as the Nitro
company has a beer cart tradition that involves the newbie to push a cart of
beer around the office premises handing out drinks to people which gives them
an opportunity to introduce them to the rest of their staff. While some are
meaningful it isn’t the same for all the companies; the Camino Information
Services have a tradition which involves the newcomer to select an angry bird
plush toy that fits their character the best. These toys end up being thrown
across the office at random times which keeps the work place fun and not too
stressful all the time.
There is a necessity for any and
every organization to have a healthy work and organizational culture as it
provides a sense of direction helps to establish an identity, creates a sense
of belonging which leads to unity amongst the worker. All of these factors
result not only in a better output work wise which is proportional to creating
a stronger opposition for other rivals.
Upon reviewing multiple companies
on their organizational culture there seems to be a pattern that is followed by
almost all the places with a healthy and success yielding work environment.
This pattern often involves; concern for the employees, stability, openness in
communication, values and standards, unification against the enemy (AKA
rivals), rewards, patience in dealing with situations, support, team work,
dedication, risk taking and multiple other factors that lead to the solution of
having the perfect culture in a company.
To be successful you need to
pertain to the need of the hour, due to which change is necessary and conflict
is unavoidable. This is often a step which the cream of the organizations with
bad work culture are hesitant to take as they fear they will lose their stature
or cause the company a lot of damage by paying for insurance, free food, even
providing flexible work hours might affect the output of the company but according
to psychologist who analyses the scenario and does the math, he notices that when the changes are made things like revenues go up
not down. There is also an increase in customer satisfaction. And things such
as customer complaints, turnover and insurance costs go down because people are
happy to come to work and have the company achieve their goals as the company
has previously done for them. Nobody should expect you to be there for someone
when you weren’t there for them.
The first person to give the
employee the vibe of the organizational culture of a company is the immediate
supervisor of the employee thus the lack of a good leader can cause the
creation of a bad work culture and environment. Leadership is crucial to having
a good work culture but the only problem with the factor is that it is very
hard to measure. Thus, there are tips to select the needle out of the haystack
that will make or break your company. According to multiple interviewers this
is what helps them decide from people who have gotten the same amount of
qualification, experiences or even grades, thus assuring them in their decision
of appointing the right individual for their company. The four qualities
suggested by a psychologist which will often lead you to the right one for your
company. For starters, the humble should not be overlooked. Always search for a
person to lead someone who is the first to encourage others on their downfalls
but the first to beat himself up if he faces a mishap. Be aware of those who
are good parents and or coaches since most of the time responsibilities of
leaders fall into these two categories. And lastly keep an eye out for the risk
takers who aren’t ahead of placing themselves in front of a problem. These
characteristics help to find a potentially great leader.
The following is a brief case
study that portrays a company that is known for its organizational culture all
around the world.
The Marriott hotel chain, which
began with a couple whose desire, was to serve people. The owners of the now JW
Marriott; John Marriott and Alice Marriott, started with a small beer bar, then
to a hotel, and later on to a motor motel. In the Beginning employees were
professional people such as doctors, and surgeons. Mr. Marriott also took
people off the streets and trained them, who worked themselves up to the post
of managers etc. this small business soon expanded into cruise lines, theme
parks and much more.
Founding philosophy of Marriott
is “take care of the associates, the associates will take care of the guests
and the guests will come back again and again.” This idea isn’t original but is
still followed by all the staff and members related to the Marriott chain of
hotels. Not only is it famous for the way it treats its guests but is also
quite known for the employees that work there. Perks received by employees may
include; facilities available at headquarters: parking, gym, day care centers, Flexible
work hours, Health care benefits, Travel deals, Friends and family discounts,
an employee who has been with the company for 25 plus can redeem free stays at
the chain of hotels. In addition to, Award ceremonies for the employees from
across the globe to recognize each and every hard working employee. They also
provide benefits such as laundry on site, providing food to staff. And for the
full time staff, they have activities that help to develop talents and train.
Providing opportunities to grow in the organization. For instance; Bob McCarthy
the COO, who started off as a waiter.
In a country like Haiti a special
branch of Marriott has opened up which can be considered a sole product of the
powerful people living in the weak country. The man Mr. Marriott himself, loves
visiting this specific hotel (fort Lauderdale Marriott harbor beach) and has
come to know all the employees working there on a personal level. Talk about
someone who isn’t thinking always about profit. This has continued to be a part
of his regime for almost the past 40 years.
This branch staffs approximately
staffs 130 employees in Haiti (with approx 561000 employees including staff
from franchises which are placed all over the globe).Almost eighty percent of
staff payment is hourly. The concern for the employees is beyond a boss and
subordinate relationship, it has evolved to a family like relationship amongst
all the people employed there.
Thus when the floods hit the
locality, this crushed the hearts of the cream of the company who felt strongly
towards the people of the region. Upon a suggestion by Kathleen Matthews the
public affairs officers along with other her other titles mentioned, instead of
providing a very temporary aid to the people let’s do the opposite.They not
only built a hotel there that could help earn some revenue for the land and
keep the locals employed they also kept the site feeling rooted by adding local
interests by incorporating regional handy work as furniture pieces to the new
Marriott installation.A lot of famous individuals visited this establishment in
Haiti, from famous western personalities to local VIPs’ such as the Haitian
According to one of the employees
at Marriot the best employers are those who win, he hope that Marriott as a
brand and a company is a winner too. To create a company worth the title of a
winner is hard work and a lot of effort is put into selecting the right
individuals for the company and molding them through mentorship to become
better employees and even better people.
They always hire people who have
a thriving social life; thus are friendly but their process of training is
technical which helps to create the perfect hospitable employee. They test
personalities of their employees which helps them to select from all the high
scorers who apply.
(Bill Marriott the Chairman of
the brand, his daughter)Debbie Marriott Harrison is the global officer for
culture and business councils of the brand, recalls when she was little her
father would take her to the hotel at around Christmas time and would stand
with her at the doors to greet all the visitors of the inn, this impacted her
relationship with the company and with people in relation to it.
It is beneficial when employees
are happy; it helps to save money, less turnover, because they like to work,
they try to learn by themselves and train themselves, therefore resulting in
lesser mistakes. Marriott’s Internal Data shows happier employees make it
easier to comply with the need of the customer who also seems to be very
satisfied by the resolution of their issue, due to the employee being happy and
satisfied by doing their job well.
The chain hasn’t stopped and is
still continuing to grow. It is thus frequently adapting to changes. As it is
trying not to miss out on their millennial audience they have come up with
small modifications such as fewer drawers and large beds, along with bigger
TV’s and from plain old room service, to hip fancy and informal ways to get
your food to you.
Work culture varies from company
to company but also varies from country to country. The following paragraph
contains the culture that influences work in Japan. In Japan, unlike the
American or British culture if followed there, one stands out like a sore
thumb. To the Japanese Silence is golden, being an introvert is a added
benefit. To them Silence is valued more than animation. During occurrences of
problems they find it better to let it die in silence rather than fill the gaps
with jibber gabber. They have a more formal approach towards business than the
west. An unofficial dress code for working individuals is conservative which is
quite similar to Indian ideals. Wisdom
is valued more than confidence, by the businessmen. They prefer a very group
oriented culture, in which credit given to entire group. They believe in
praising one individually, as well as recognizing them in public, but when it
came to criticizing them, they always do it privately.
A person’s identity can be
extended to multiple people via using less speech through business cards. The
cards need to be handed over in a respectful manner and received in the same.
One is to present the cards to the other with both hands and the printed side
should be facing the receiver of the card. It is considered to be disrespectful
if you shove the card in the back pocket as seen to have been a common western
Age defines your level of
seniority in the company. Older people are treated with more respect in
business regardless of qualifications. Not extreme deadline oriented group more
focused on points that favor and expanding more on what can be done. They avoid
hard sales as much as possible.
Privacy is most valued. Personal
queries not very appreciated even their design of the offices is made in such a
manner that windows aren’t even see through. This could be a valid reason for
lack in optimizing in social media.
Japan is definitely not known for
its gender equality even being a woman who is taller than a man is not
considered a good thing. In addition
they are paid less than men, work longer hours than men, not ideal to raise a
family. Often pregnant women face maternity harassment where women are forced
to quit or demoted but now changes are beginning to happen. The Government has
begun empowering and supporting women due to the labor levels dropping due to
shrinking population of the country.