Improve your organizational culture in 8 steps

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

Organization culture is the values, habits, traditions, feelings, etc. that certain groups share within the organization and represents the unwritten rules that guide employees’ daily behavior.

If the organizational culture is aligned with the objectives, it can help to achieve these objectives more efficiently and effectively. For this, it is important to take the culture into account when measuring or planning business objectives.

The organizational culture is the face of the company, comprised of basic elements:

– Shared values and beliefs. Affirmations of what is right and wrong in the organization and the consequences that the actions of each element making up the organization have. They define the expected behavior and are shared by most members.
– Own identity. The way in which employees identify themselves, providing them a specificity, identity and coherence towards the outside.
– Persistence. Although it evolves constantly, it is resistant to brusque changes.

Apart from these basic elements, there are differences between the culture in each organization in which each individual has a certain level of responsibility, freedom or even independence to assume risks or that ensures innovation, taking into account the number and quantity of rules with which employees’ behavior is governed.

Each organization also differs due to the level of identification of its members with other members and how they relate to each other. Is there any favoritism? In terms of the services, is there any discrimination? Are employees perceived to be honest and hard-working? Do employees communicate among themselves? What is the customer service like? And even, what is projected from the employees when you enter the company’s buildings?

If you want to improve the organizational culture, there are a number of basic points for achieving it:

1. Answer basic questions. What culture would you like there to be in your company? How do you want the company to be seen by others? How would you like employees to interact among themselves? These are the questions that you need to answer to know what direction to take.

2. Ask your own employees What would they improve in the company? How would they like to be seen? What would make them feel at ease? Take into account the comments they share with you.

3. Don’t be afraid of criticism. Many people are afraid of change and probably will oppose any reformist ideas you present. Don’t pay too much importance to them and let the change flow.

4. Plan. All changes need a plan of action; find or create a plan that best suits your requirements and find a way to get the most out of it.

5. Act. Don’t waste time and get the plans rolling; if they don’t turn out like you planned, change the direction and put it into motion. Don’t be afraid of errors and let you and your team leave the comfort zone.

6. Communicate. Since you have taken the opinions of your team into account, communicate the actions to be taken to them and allow them to digest the changes.

7. Be patient. Don’t expect them to get used to it in a day, don’t seek radical changes in a short time either. Gradually you will start to see the difference without having to pressurize.

8. Be the example. You can’t ask your employees to be honest and encompassing if you and the other executives in your company aren’t. Lead by example and behave in the way you want “your company” to behave.

Ma. Teresa Farfán (@MomBita) is a psychologist graduate from UNAM, with experience in practising psychology both publically and privately in which she seeks an ethical practice and in favor of improving the quality of life and ensuring an integral experience of those with whom she works, be it individuals or companies, looking for teamwork, professionalization, and standardization She has experience in the area of culture, organizational communication, consumer and sales psychology. She participates actively in social undertakings such as Átomo Educativo and is co-founder of khÜn Psicología, a company that seeks to bring psychology to companies and individuals with a multi-disciplinary approach.