The importance of organisational culture

The importance of organisational culture

April 4, 2023

In HR terms we talk about organisational culture. This is because every organisation is made up of human relationships and human interactions.

There are many definitions of organisational culture.

My favourite is this simple one ‘the way we do things around here’ by Balogun and Johnson.

In your organisation there will be a ‘way you do things around here’, this is your culture.

Why is an organisations culture important?

The organisational culture can impact on several areas:

  • The ways teams work together, to get things done.
  • The morale of employees and the influence they can have on others.
  • The reason an employee wishes to stay or leave an organisation.

Ultimately the culture can impact your bottom line and the achievement of your organisational goals.

How can you influence the organisations culture?

As a leader you can have a strong influence on the organisational culture, you are the one providing direction to teams and employees will look to you and your behaviours and actions as the way they should act.  So, you are shaping employees’ behaviours by acting as a role model.

What can I do to improve the organisational culture?

Often organisations can confuse offering lots of benefits and perks as a measure of the organisational culture, whilst it’s good to be able to be able to offer additional benefits, in the long run they will not assist in retaining your staff.

As we have confirmed the culture is about the ‘way you do things around here’, think about the following and how you can improve or change any of these aspects:

  • Communication – is this open, honest and supportive, do employees feel they are able to give honest feedback, ask questions, share ideas and talk about mistakes without fear of punishment.  Can you create openings for teams to communicate and collaborate?
  • Fairness and equality – promoting fairness and equality for all will assist in creating a positive workplace.  Are your pay structures transparent, fair and equitable.
  • Job enrichment – is there clarity on job roles, the right level of autonomy and support available to ensure that jobs are not too demanding or stressful.
  • Policies and procedures – whilst having rules can appear stifling, having a consistent and clear way in dealing with issues assists in dealing with them swiftly and avoids any disputes over the way in which they are dealt with.
  • Training and upskilling – budgets may be tight, so think about how you can share knowledge and skills through either internal train the trainer sessions or free webinars.  Or speak to your employees about their development, do they have a goal in mind for their career, how can you support them to achieve this. 
  • Initiatives – can you promote initiatives to engage your workforce and maybe lead to positive outcomes such as health and wellbeing initiatives, supporting a local charity or a charity linked to the industry.  This can also have the benefit of building teamwork and opening up communication and collaboration.
  • Employee recognition schemes – you can value the contribution of employees through a quarterly recognition scheme, presenting awards and a small gesture for those that have gone the extra mile.  A simple thanks and acknowledgment go a long way.

If we can be of any assistance with supporting you with your organisation culture, please call us on 01527 909436.

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