The term Work culture is normally termed as organisational couture in wide sense. Organisation culture experts like Watson (2006) emphasizes that the concept of culture originally derived from a metaphor of the organisation as something cultivated. The ultimate act of leadership is also to destroy the culture if it is producing desired results of achieving objectives or if it is dysfunctional.
Culture gives an organisation an identity and determines:
- The way things are done around the organisation
- Organisational legends (established ways of doing things)
- Rituals, beliefs, values, meanings
- Norms and language
The practice of organisation is accepted by all members of the organisations (including employees). All employees expect a healthy culture. What is healthy for one employee may not be healthy for other. However certain cultures are recognized by and large by all who work for an organisation to be healthy.
Certain Characteristics of a work Culture
- Employees must be cordial with each other: One must respect his fellow worker. Backbiting is considered strictly unprofessional and must be avoided for a healthy work culture. One gains nothing out of conflicts and nasty politics at work.
- Each employee should be treated as one: Partiality leads to dissatisfied employees and eventually an unhealthy work culture. Employees should be judged only by their work and nothing else. Personal relationships should take a backseat at the workplace. Don’t favour anyone just because he is your relative.
- Appreciating the achievers or top performers is important: Praise the employees to expect good work from them every time. Extending them a pat on their back. Making them feel indispensable for their organization. Not criticize the ones who have not performed well, instead encouraging (ask them) them to pull up their performance for the next time. Giving them additional and more opportunity rather than firing them immediately.
- Encourage discussions at the workplace: Especially in knowledge society employees must discuss issues among themselves to reach to better conclusions. Each one should have the liberty to express his views. The team leaders and managers must interact with the subordinates frequently. Transparency is essential at all levels for better relationships among employees and a healthy work culture. Manipulating information and data tampering is a strict no at the workplace. Let information flow in its desired form.
- The dictatorial (“Hitler approach”) approach does not fit in the current knowledge society scenario: Bosses or Managers should be more like (friend and philosopher) mentors to the employees. The team leaders should be a source of inspiration for the subordinates. The superiors are expected to provide a sense of direction to the employees and guide them whenever needed. The team members should have an easy access to their boss’s cabin.
- Provide opportunities for upward mobility: Many employees who choose to leave a job particularly millennial– do so because they feel they haven’t been offered appropriate opportunities to advance in their careers. Make them feel secure. One of the primary reasons that employees look for o a new job is to find job stability.
How employers or prospective employees can tell what right work culture is for them?
This is little difficult to define from both employer and employee perspectives. From employer angle the central pillar of work culture begins from mission of the organisation. A leader company in a sector may say our core values and principles as a company stem from this central mission: trust, respect, care, communication, transparency, a positive attitude, determination, and commitment.
Now to verify whether these values exist with prospective employee is to verify in the interview by asking few questions to interviewee, give an example of when you went out of your way to help a coworker or create a positive experience for a customer? And few questions like do you like most about working on a team? And what you like? What is your work value? Money? Achievement? Organisation integrity? Do you value money first or organisation goal achievement?
Employers can make collaborative process in interview
They may meet or take interview with prospective colleagues. They have ascertained who can provide reliable answers for their interview. They may also spend some time with employees working in the organisation and take a brainstorm to ascertain how they react. Though these suggestions may not give 100% results still it can give an idea whether one can make oneself culturally fit to an organisation.