A good organizational culture is a key to the success of any company, as it affects the productivity of employees, their quality of work, and job satisfaction. A well-thought-out organizational culture allows you to create a space and environment in which employees will develop, provide better quality services, and resolve conflicts painlessly and quickly. In addition, organizational culture affects the quality of collaboration between teams that can work together on the same project. For example, encouraging the exchange of ideas and building trust in the team are indicators of good organizational culture.
The organizational culture is usually defined as the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of team members. In other words, organizational culture reflects the values and practices of the organization through which it realizes those values. For example, the values of gender equality can be realized through the provision of equal employment opportunities, equal pay, and non-discrimination concerning maternity or paternity.
At the same time, the values of non-racial discrimination will be expressed in respectful and equal treatment of employees of all races by management and assistance in solving problems when necessary. Further, the values of a safe workplace can be ensured through the creation of a policy of rules and regulations that govern situations of sexual harassment in the workplace. Some companies, such as Hilton, create acronyms to express their organizational values: the Hilton stands for Hospitality, Integrity, Leadership, Teamwork, Ownership, and delivering these qualities Now, that is immediate.
Good organizational culture helps build respectful relationships between the employees and the manager of the company; it empowers the employees, stands for the general atmosphere at the workplace, and impacts the employee’s level of interaction. Therefore, it is important to deliver an effective and appropriate organizational culture to increase productivity and efficiency, enhance the retention of the workforce, protect the employees ‘rights, achieve organizational goals, and increase the employees’ engagement, happiness, and productivity.
Organizations are whole systems with interrelated structures, systems, and cultures. This means that if some part of the organization is performing poorly, all other parts and the system as a whole may not function properly. Notably, malfunctioning is usually the responsibility of managers, who must ensure good relations between employees and adherence to practices developed following the core values of the company. For example, in companies with bad people practice, employees may feel overwhelmed, perform worse, and fail to meet their goals. At the same time, if managers underestimate employees and do not reward them for a job well done, or overload them with tasks, employees may refuse such conditions and look for another job. As a result, employee retention rates are lowered, resulting in increased training costs for new staff.
On the contrary, good people practice will improve retention rates, reduce associated costs and increase the level of achievement of goals. For example, if managers show participation in the work of their subordinates, help them resolve work conflicts, organize the work of teams well, advise on solving work issues, this will help employees to better perform their duties. On the contrary, if managers humiliate their employees and do not suppress bullying practices, do not adequately assess the work of employees, put forward conflicting demands, or do not know how to regulate the workload, this complicates the work of the company.
In different organizations, employees can develop and acquire new skills through on-the-job and off-the-job training. On-the-job training can be a convenient way to train personnel, as they are conducted with the participation of specialists who work in the company and share their experience. This exchange of information and skills can strengthen relationships within an organization and help it achieve its original goals. At the same time, on-the-job training, therefore, improves the alignment of goals within the organization. Off-the-job training also has its advantages, as trainers from other companies or independent experts can provide employees with an alternative perspective and broaden their horizons.
The 70-20-10 model is another interesting approach that organizations apply to staff training. It is extremely effective, as it reflects the real process of perception and memorization of new information by employees. According to this model, 70 percent of new skills are acquired by employees from experience, 20 percent from socialization or communication with colleagues, and another 10 percent from formal training.
Therefore, as a rule, to train an employee in some new type of work, he is simply offered to do this work. In the process of practical learning, people adapt much faster and more efficiently than learning something in theory or from someone else’s experience. Joint coaching sessions and teamwork communication are other good ways to learn new skills by gaining information about difficult or difficult situations and guidance for action in similar conditions. Finally, employees can get 10 percent of information from online lessons, books, or handouts. Formal learning is also important as it creates the necessary anchor for new knowledge.
Changes are important and must be predicted, planned, and effectively managed. Planning for change can help reduce the associated risks and run the process more smoothly (Rosenbaum et al., 2018). There are different drivers, that is, the reasons or initiators of change, associated with many aspects of the business. For example, customers, HR, suppliers, competitors, technology, changes in governmental policy, social changes, environmental changes, vision, mission and goals, and others can act as drivers of changes. Changes can be carried out under theories of change. For example, Lewin’s change management model is based on the algorithm unfreeze-change-refreeze, which sounds very sensible.
Then, there is also Kotter’s 8-step change model that provides detailed guidance for the upcoming change. Most importantly, the change planning should include four milestones, which are understanding, planning, implementing, and communicating the change.
In general, changes can be strategic or tactical, depending on what triggers them. For example, if management initiates change, it may involve introducing new business practices, such as finding new distributors or targeting a new target audience. At the same time, if changes are initiated by external factors such as a new government policy, they can be planned and implemented more formally, solely to comply with the updated norms. At the same time, if the changes are initiated by HR, they can relate to new strategies for organizing the working day or a new approach to hiring.
In other words, the mere fact of change does not mean that the organization will have to go through a period of crisis. Crisis management is not the same as planning for change. Changes in the work of most companies occur constantly, but with good planning, they remain almost invisible to employees, except for the teams that plan and implement them, when it comes to large corporations. In smaller companies, changes affect everyone and are usually implemented by individual responsible persons.
When implementing changes, HR can take on various roles such as change leader, change educator, change advisor, and change participant. As a change leader, HR may take full responsibility for implementing the changes. For example, an HR director can completely reform the entire personnel management system, or introduce the use of new technologies. In such a situation, HR directs and manages change, including the smallest details.
Then, in the role of the change educator, the HR can educate the clients regarding how to implement the change, as a specialist. As a change advisor, HR only advises clients in introducing the changes, and as the change participant, the HR is the one affected by the change. These roles differ in nature and function and depend on what job responsibilities HR has. As a rule, fulfilling the role of a leader or educator requires a comprehensive understanding of the problem, while the role of a participant requires a deeper immersion in the situation.
Change is not always constructive for specific people, even if they are constructive about the company. Companies are implementing change to achieve their own goals, which may overlook the importance of the well-being of individual employees. For example, an effective crisis management policy may include the dismissal of a large percentage of employees, or demotion of employees with reduced salaries. While waiting for this outcome, workers may experience stress, which will be expressed in the form of dissatisfaction, passive or active aggression or decreased productivity, missing meetings, and even layoffs.
Another option for how changes may affect employees is the emergence of more work and new responsibilities associated with promotions and salary increases. In this case, employees may feel insecure and anxious. In both cases, management must communicate the changes in a sympathetic and detailed manner to relieve stress. Communicating changes is one of the top management priorities when implementing changes. Because, if the management fails to do this, the firm can be practically inoperative for a long time, and employees will experience stress and suffering. Therefore, implementing changes should include the four stages listed above – understanding, planning, implementing, and communicating the change, and by no means miss any of the stages.