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You might have often noticed the word “ culture “ in an organization. Statements like “this is our culture” and “our organization has a different culture”. When I hear this statement, I wonder what this organization’s culture is all about. Can someone build it?

To understand the organizational culture we have to first learn about organizational values. Culture is the result of a set of values an organization build. Values are measurable whereas culture is something one observes. Let’s find out how values are created in an organization.

Values are linked to the quality of responsibility an employee brings to the company. It has to do a lot with the type of business a company is into. Qualities, values, and culture are not something you can bring in from day one of a start-up, even though most entrepreneurs struggle to do so.

Five Factors that decide the culture of the organization:

    • Organization’s behavior pattern
    • Type of identity the organization holds
    • How do they treat the employees?
    • Policies that are built by the organization
    • How they treat the customs

Let us find out what defines an organization’s behavior patterns. Let us take some examples to understand this. Working 5 days a week can be considered a behavioral pattern of the organization. Similarly, working from home, having/ not having outsourced employees, Being in a specific business line, proving overtime to employees, and having a centralized or decentralized working model are all examples of the behavioral pattern of an organization. This is one of the primary factors which aligns an employee with a company- the critical factor which connects them to the company.

Now let us take the identity that the organization holds. When you hear the name Apple – what comes to your mind first? For me, their product design and quality come to mind. Like me, many people may be also thinking the same way. This is the identity the organization creates. Some companies are known for quality, some for best services, some for her skills in client communication, and some for their legacy- The identity the brand holds. The identity can also be the core business they are into – Larsen & Toubro is known for its construction experience, ICICI for its banking experience, etc. The identity a company build holds a lot of value in forming the culture of a company.

In early 2010, I was working with a company that is now ranked as one of the prestigious Unicorns of India. Once, I got a message from my home that my mother is critically ill and I had to rush in some time. I did not have sufficient money to arrange her treatment. While boarding the flight, I just informed this situation to the finance head. After one hour, when I landed in my hometown, the first message I received was about credit from the company which was more than sufficient for my mother’s treatment, and a personal message from the finance head “ Let me know if you need any other help”.

This will remain a stunning experience for me and I will quote it as a classical example of how organizations have to treat their employees. One thing an organization has to be careful of is being truthful to the employees. Certain employee benefits programs will surely motivate the employees at large, but a personal touch like the one that happened to me will be the core connection for an employee. That will act as a very important factor in building the culture of the organization.

The policies that an organization creates bring considerable value to the company. Type of leave benefits, travel policy, recruitment and exit policies, policy related to employee engagement, incentives, and bonuses – any policy which makes the organization stand out is a very important factor in developing culture. You should note one important observation here the behavior pattern of the employee changes when you change the policy in a company.

Most importantly the last one is how you treat your customers. There can be happy customers and unhappy customers on your organization’s list. But how you treat them is also one of the very important values development factors. We know an organization that commits to a lot of deliverables but delivers less and companies that commit less and deliver more than the customer expects. Customers should feel that there is a long association possible with your company. Your customer reference is much more valuable than any other marketing activity that you can do.

Final Thought:

Keeping these things in mind this blog has been written in the form of agreed points with a Business advisor or consultant who develop programs in building organizational culture.

So it is important to understand, culture is a consolidation of values that a company brings in. It has much to do with the type of core team that your organization is having, what decisions the organization takes on the path of growth, and how your employees adopt it. I always believe that if a culture alignment is done in a company with its employees, customers, and the process, your organization will work as one big family and their representation will get projected as the total value of the company.

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