Organizational culture can be viewed as shared beliefs, values and norms that influence the way employees feel, think and behave in a workplace. As culture creates values, believes and attitudes it makes employees more focused and engaged towards the goals.
Organizational culture is a tool that can make change easier within an organization due to the constant improvement and modifications in the business world. Measuring culture is very difficult due to its abstract core.
There are different levels and types of organizational culture. Let’s have a look at them.
Levels of Organizational Culture
Organizational culture can be divided into the following three levels.
Artifacts are the surface level of an organizational culture. Artifacts include tangible, easily seen and felt manifestations such as products, language, clothing, physical environment, technology, published values, rituals and stories.
In every organization there are set of values and norms that should be followed. Beliefs and values are the next level of organizational culture that includes goals, norms, shared assumptions, strategies, and shared perceptions instilled by managers and founders.
Assumptions are at the base level of an organizational culture and hence deeply-embedded. Assumptions are unconscious, invisible, taken for granted beliefs, perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Any challenge to assumptions will result in anxiety and defensiveness.
Types of Organizational Cultures
Following are the four types of an organizational cultures.
1- Clan Culture
Clan culture basically eliminates individual work and takes it to the level where communication resembles to a one family. This is very team oriented culture and put emphasis on loyalty. This culture creates a positive environment and gives space to the employees to make their own decisions and take responsibility. This culture gives employees the freedom to learn and grow.
2- Adhocracy Culture
In this environment risk taking is much appreciated and most importantly encouraged. This culture thrives on modeling new ides in an aggressive manner. In this culture individuals also have the freedom to make their decisions. This culture helps in the development of new ideas that could be translated into products or services. This culture provides a space for growing which is a motivational factor for many employees.
3- Market Culture
This culture is completely different because it is very goal driven. In this culture, leaders or managers give tasks through pushing the employees towards achieving challenging targets and creating a very competitive environment. This type of organization is extremely focused on the external success. It is very task directed and such formation have good information about their competitors and customers which helps them to adjust to the current needs.
4- Hierarchy Culture
In this culture top management makes the decisions which are later on communicated to the employees. This type of culture have no space for innovation and personal decision making. This environment pose challenge to managers because if they do not recognize the threats or possibilities then it creates problem in the whole system. The main goal of this culture is to create processes that do not cost a lot and run according to the plan.
Cultural Influence on performance
High Performance strives from engagement rather than strategy. Many organizations fall in the transformation period because of their lack of understanding about the relationship between the change and how it might affect the employee. In cultural change employee feel dissatisfied due to the loss of the identity of the place where they have been working so far. It can have damaging consequences. Changing the culture requires a great deal of empathy, communication and understanding the employee point of view. Goals, values and mission have to be properly explained and communicated to the employees for the smooth transformation.
There is a direct relationship between how the employees are taken care of and how it reflects their performance. The employee performance automatically increases in an environment where their opinions and suggestions are valued. For an increased performance an employee should be cherished as an asset, rather than being treated as someone who can be replaced.
When the managers work with employee’s hand-in-hand the goals are achieved together. Employees know that their insight in decision-making is important and they stay motivated towards achieving a common goal.
Putting trust in employees’ views reflect back in employees trusting in the organization’s culture. This produces an enabling environment and results in growth. The positive drive among the employees encourage them to take the extra step towards achieving the goals that in turn brings positive results to both, the employees and the organization.