The success of any corporate organisation largely depends on its key constituents, the employees. Additionally, the common value and code of conduct called the corporate culture, shared by the employees becomes the engine oil for this success.
An organisation may have the best of employees, but lack of shared value, good interpersonal relationships among the employees, and a relaxed working environment can hinder some employees from giving out their best. According to Tim McClure, Professional Speaker and Brand and Leadership Consultant, “The biggest concern for any organisation should be when their most passionate people become quiet”.
It is therefore imperative to develop, nurture and maintain a good and strong corporate culture that enables employees to bring out their best for the benefit of both the organisation and the employees.
This article discusses the importance of good corporate culture and the need for corporate entities to understand that with the growing competition and changing customer needs, business growth largely depends on the right corporate culture, resulting in the right impact on employees and the organisation as a whole.
Studies have shown that corporate culture impacts a lot of activities within the organisation. Some of these are decision making; solving internal conflict; sense of responsibility; working towards the overall goal; communication and individual learning abilities.
Robbins (2010) explains that corporate culture defines the organisation’s identity including the individuals. Also, the culture shapes the attitudes and behaviour of employees and enhances organisational system levels.
Kotter and Heskett (1992) in their study concluded on one hand that better performing entities possess strong cultures that fit the organisation’s environment and on the other hand, an organisation must possess a culture focused on customers, employees and stakeholders if it wants to behave well in the long term.
In practice, organisational culture has some advantages on behavior that ultimately brings positive impact on the business development. One of these is that organisational culture serves as a guide which positively affects both the individual and organisational goals. Also, it restrains employee behaviour as it sets standards for everyone within the organisation.
Other advantages of organisational culture are: it promotes sense of loyalty and serves as a social glue among employees; promotes common values and behaviours as well as encourages differences and inspires innovation.
Another important element of organisational culture is its impact on the leadership of the organisation and decision making. The leadership’s example in entrenching good organisational culture and decision making will reflect in the actions of the employees.
Passion, motivation, team work, creativity and finding solutions to problems, rather than playing the blame game are the values that drive the organisation. These values must be embedded in the organisation’s culture. Furthermore, lack of clear direction from leadership on the organisational culture is a recipe for disaster in the organisation.
Tim McClure also said: “Passion is contagious … so is not having it”. Lack of trust in leadership leads to negative energy within the organisation and this forces passionate employees to become quiet. Undefined organisational culture creates a situation where employees crawl into their shells for self-protection, become distracted and unhappy due to suspicion and insecurity. All these lead to organisational system failure and ultimately affect the business goal.
Some of the causes of employees’ quietness are breach of trust, dishonesty, lack of vision, leadership selfishness, and lack of leadership consistency, among others.
Jonathan Mills (2016) sums it up by saying that “the ‘quietness’ of typically motivated employees is an organisational alarm which leadership needs to recognise and act on. Internal reflection is necessary as the origin of the lack of passion so often lies in leadership inappropriateness, neglect, or selfishness.”
In conclusion, organisational culture helps understand the possible sources of problems within an organisation, so as to address them on time. Also, it helps motivates employees, ensures timely responses, teaches all employees how to behave, and build employee loyalty.
By Albert Amekudzi
The writer is the Corporate Communications and Events Manager at Origin8 Limited, one of Ghana’s leading Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations Company.