Organisational culture, also called company culture, can be referred to as a system of shared values and beliefs which guide how employees behave in the organisation. Organisational culture is inclusive of the expectations the employees and employers have of one another. It further includes the experiences, values, and systems of the organisation. This is shown in the day-to-day dealings of the organisation. In many instances, organisational culture is based on the practices that have been developed over time and the shared beliefs, customs and rules commonly practised in the workplace. These shared values influence how the organisation manages how employees dress and behave and how they comply with their duties and responsibilities.

Joining a new work environment can be similar to immigrating to another country. You will encounter new rules, dress codes, new ideas, and new customers, and you will have to comply with all the new rules and responsibilities in the new workspace. It is essential to familiarise yourself with your new working environment as quickly as possible to ensure you become a team player from the start. Many employees dream of working for companies with a strong and diversified organisational culture. When an organisation has a strong personality, in that they have strong rooted values which are easily adaptable, employees quickly know and understand what their company does and why they do it.

Four different types of organisational cultures can be found in the workplace. The article, 12 types of Organizational Culture and HR’s Role in shaping it makes mention of them in the following manner:

  • Clan culture is an organisational culture mostly found in traditional organisations. These companies are primarily family-owned, and the focus is on nurturing the employees through interpersonal connections or job shadowing and mentoring programs. This type of culture creates a feeling of a true extended family.
  • The hierarchical culture can be found in traditional organisations. In this culture, all the decision-making power is with the management. The advantage of this type of organisational culture is that it is efficient, but it is not ideal for fostering creativity or innovation.
  • Market culture can be defined as a type of corporate culture that puts a lot of emphasises on competitiveness. The competition between the organisation and its market also includes competition between employees. Of all the different types of organisational cultures, the market model is the most aggressive and capitalistic.
  • The IGI Global publisher of timely knowledge refers to the adhocracy culture as a highly orientated, intensely creative and highly adaptable type of organisation culture. An organisational culture with different groups of individuals reaching consensus by responding in ad hoc fashion to frequently changing priorities. The values are based on flexibility, innovation and creativity, with much focus placed on one or more external factors such as technology, the customer, or the market.

The most crucial step to be considered when developing organisational culture is assessing what employees value (in the workplace). Usually, the culture of the organisation is derived from top management. It is, however, meaningless if the culture does not reflect the employee values. As such, it is advisable to start investigating how employees honestly feel about their work environment within the organisation. Understanding how people feel and think about the organisation and what the employees find exciting and motivating about the work is essential.

People want to work in companies where they will be happy and reach their full potential; therefore, it is often emphasised that If a company can identify and establish the organisation’s culture and how a candidate can potentially fit into that culture, it will ensure a healthy work environment and reduce the number of employees resigning because they are unhappy and not professionally growing.

Article By: Motheo Moatshe
Dispute Resolution Official – CEO Pretoria