What is organisational culture?
Any organisation’s culture is made up of shared values, beliefs, and those underlying assumptions of how people should behave and interact as well as how work should be carried out. It is essentially “the way we do things around here”, the unwritten rules that influence individuals’ behaviours and attitudes. It is often shaped by the organisation’s history, environment, leaders, and workers.
Why is it important?
The commonly used quote, ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’ stresses that besides delivering strategies, organisations should focus on their culture to gain competitive advantage, optimize turnover, increase the quality of hire, boost employee engagement, and improve productivity.
Competitive advantage & quality of hire
A recent research by Cobalt HR indicated that the most important factor that attracts people to work for a certain organisation is company culture (46%), followed by flexible working (33%). In a candidate-driven job market in 2022, the applicants hold options, which means that recruiters need to work hard to stand out and attract top talent. Indeed, organisations need to explore what makes their culture unique, but which also makes candidates feel they could thrive in it. If correctly cultivated, suitable candidates will self-select themselves based on the culture fit, and they will be more motivated to work hard.
Optimised turnover & increased performance
As a result of promoting a strong company culture in the recruitment process, new employees matching the company’s culture will feel safe and inspired in their workplace. Similarly, if existing employees’ needs and values are in line with the company they work for, they are less likely to leave prematurely. Naturally, employees who share values and aspirations tend to ‘go the extra mile’ in their role compared to those whose environment lack cohesiveness and purpose.
When to begin developing organisational culture?
As soon as possible. In fact, culture will develop with or without you, the difference is whether you are actively shaping your culture or a disorganised culture frames how things work.
Employers, however, need to be careful when emphasising cultural fit in their recruitment and selection processes as they can become vulnerable to discrimination claims. Specialised HR consultants can not only support employers in understanding and developing the organisational culture, but they can also ensure that the organisation’s culture is compliant with existing laws and regulations and follows best practice.
HR initiatives that are beneficial to organisations based on culture:
- Review and develop organisational values and provide a clear behavioural framework
- Align recruitment with goals by writing inclusive job descriptions and tracking diversity hiring metrics.
- Integrate the organisation’s value system, norms, and desired organisational behaviours in the onboarding processes, which have a positive impact on the early job experiences and reinforce the culture.
- Develop reward and recognition schemes to strengthen the actions that best reflect the values of the organisation.
- Provide training on relevant topics to make sure that values and behaviours are understood and communicated
- Measure employee engagement which helps in understanding how effective the culture is
- Develop and apply policies that support employment laws and reflect and shape the organisation’s culture.
If you want to take an active approach and take advantage of the benefits of having a strong culture, Cobalt HR can work with employers to implement a strategic plan, which focuses on aligning your organisation’s culture with its values and goals.
Like this blog? Why not check out our blog on ‘Measuring Employee Engagement’ by clicking the following link: https://cobalt-hr.co.uk/measuring-employee-engagement