Business Owners: An Introduction to Organizational Culture
Entrepreneurs can sometimes get wrapped up in the vision of their company’s products, profits, ROI, and everything else that goes into running a business that they forget about an important aspect of maintaining success. Creating an organizational culture that encourages employees to work to their full potential by engaging them as individuals.
What Is Organizational Culture?
Also known as company culture, organizational culture is something that most people are aware of, but would have trouble defining. We know that organizational culture is part of what defines a company’s identity, but how do we define it? To start, what does the word “culture” mean to you in the context of a country’s culture? It is the traditions, attitudes, and values of the people of the country. The culture of a company is similar to the culture of a country because it is the people within the company that define it.
Positive and Negative
Few companies have the foresight to begin shaping their company culture in the process of becoming a business. There are companies with clearly defined visions, employees who understand and value their places within the team, and a sense of purpose toward the common goals of the company. Companies with positive cultures are filled with employees who are proud to tell people where they work and what they do to help their company succeed.
There are also companies with negative organizational cultures. The symptoms of a negative culture are indifference, a general lack of morale, and a multitude of other signs that the company is not rising to its full potential. These toxic environments are often found in companies that do not take an active approach to ensuring that their employees feel valued.
Finding a Good Fit
The importance of understanding organizational, or company culture, does not just apply to entrepreneurs. The people working for the entrepreneurs are largely responsible for the culture that is created. Imagine that you are looking for a job. A interviewer is trying to figure out whether you would be a fit for the company. They take into account the standard considerations such as experience, strengths, ability to work under pressure, etc. A good interviewer is also trying to get a feel for whether you would be a fit for the company. Does this candidate’s values and demeanor align with the other employees and the company as a whole?
A smart interviewee will be doing his or her own research while being interviewed. Just as the person conducting the interview is interested in making sure that a candidate is a good “culture fit”, the candidate should be making sure that the company has a culture that they want to be a part of. They should be gathering important information during their time spent at the business. Do the people who work here seem happy and fulfilled? Are they excited to meet me and explain their duties within the company? They are going to spend 40 hours per week in this environment, so they should care about the culture. If the organizational culture doesn’t align with their values and goals, it probably wouldn’t be a good fit.