Invest in Creating a Positive Organizational Culture
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Company leaders invest time, money, technology, equipment, as well as other resources in order to make their organization the best. While these investments may enhance organizational effectives for a while, there is one investment proven to increase organizational effectiveness for companies. Consider investing in creating and maintaining a positive organizational culture.
Positive Organizational Culture
Organizational culture is the accumulation of expectations, values, and practices that inform and guide all of the employees in the organization. It is the characteristics that make the organization what it is. Organizational culture is important to study because it can affect organizational effectiveness. It can do this by providing an organization with competitive advantages, improving the way the organizational structure works, and increasing the motivation of employees to pursue organizational interests. It can provide competitive advantages by creating a sense of loyalty to the organization once the employee understands the mission, vision, and history. This can charge them to work harder and provide competition to other organizations. It can improve the way the organizations’ structure works by allowing employees to be innovative in the way they allow employees to accomplish task their own way, as long as their actions are consistent with the good of the organization. It can increase the motivation of employees to pursue organizational interests by providing works with opportunities to enhance their skills and acquire additional education so they can remain productive and do not become obsolete because of changes in their field.
It is important to also mention organizational learning when speaking on organizational culture. Organizational learning is the way in which an organization teaches its employees about the organization and how to transfer knowledge and work in the organization. Encouraging organizational learning is a process organizations must intentionally implement. One way to encourage organizational learning is to act the individual, group, organizational, and inner organizational level. At the individual level leaders should help employees by helping employees learn new skills, organizational rules, norms, and values. This helps develop a sense of personal mastery. An example of this is how Google allows it’s employees to work on their own projects 30% and gives them room to do out of the box thinking. At the group level, managers can promote the use of self-managed and cross-functional teams. This encourages employees to share their ideas and abilities to solve problems which leads to team learning. At the organizational level, leaders can promote this learning through the organizations structure and culture. This allows for employees to build a shared vision. The last way is through inner organizational means. This is when managers encourage explorative and exploitative learning. This is a way that promotes organizational effectiveness. Robey, Bourdreau, and Rose (2000) in their research article titled, “Information technology and organizational learning: a review and assessment of research,” learned that, “learning is accomplished through both formal training and participation in practice” which supports the research saying a layered approach to promoting organizational learning is effective.
Four Ways to Build Positive Organizational Culture
Organizational cultures that are positive generally have the following characteristics. The first is that leaders express gratitude for their employees on a regular basis. This can be done verbally or through cards or letters. It can also be done in a group or on a one on one basis. The second is that the leaders assist employees in working towards a goal. This is done by developing SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound) goals with employees and then helping them achieve them. As a team, the leader should also help the team in achieving departmental and organizational goals. The third is to promote health and wellness. Caring for employee’s emotional, physical, and mental health is a way to do this. Allowing for time for employees to take care of their own health and wellness promotes a positive organizational culture. This can be done through policies that promote walking breaks and healthy potluck lunches for team bonding. The last is to invest in employees. Build up the knowledge and skill of employees to improve organizational effectiveness and build a positive organizational culture. This can be done through professional development opportunities on various topics. Some of these topics may include time management, stress management, goal setting, leadership practices, balancing work and home life, and working with others. By building up these four areas, a leader can help build a positive work culture in their organization. This can improve organization effectiveness, improve job satisfaction, increase employee commitment, and lower rates of turnover.
For more information and resources on creating a positive organizational culture, contact the N.C. Cooperative Extension in Yadkin County. N.C. Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.
Robey, D., Boudreau, M. C., & Rose, G. M. (2000). Information technology and organizational learning: a review and assessment of research. Accounting, Management and Information Technologies, 10(2), 125-155.
As seen in the Yadkin Ripple August 26