How many times have you asked yourself that very same question? What would it be like if you asked that question before you even started to work for an organisation? Recently I was mentoring/job coaching a person and one of the questions I suggested be asked is, “What word or words would you use to describe your organizational culture?” Interestingly enough, they had never been asked that question before. So why is that? Are we as organisations feeling confident enough that we don’t really care if our people really want to work there or not?
We need to remember that the rules by which an organisation operates defines its culture. These rules are formed by shared beliefs, values, and behaviours. Your personal values will play a large role in determining if any organisation that you are looking at as a perspective employer is a good fit for you. Your personal values must align closely with those of the organisation. This creates an organisation that has a “shared meaning or purpose.”
What if you are a creative person, who enjoys having the freedom to challenge the norm, thinks outside the box and takes on added responsibilities. The organisation that you are working for is very task-oriented, business only and there is a great deal of reluctance to explore new ways of doing things. Everyone has a role to play and there is no deviation from that. They believe in the philosophy, “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it!”
When you wake up in the morning and look at yourself in the mirror – do you see someone that is excited about what the day is about to bring, or do you see an unhappy, values challenged individual? Interestingly, about what the day is about to bring, or do you see an unhappy, values challenged individual? Interestingly, high functioning organisations are comprised of individuals whose overt behaviours are consistent with their covert values.
Having a positive and aligned culture benefits the organisation in many ways. One important benefit is a high level of productivity. The destructive influence of hiring someone who does not share the same set of values, goals, and commitment that are part of the organisation will weaken a strong chain of links and bonds. An employee’s performance depends on what is and what is not proper among his or her peers, which in turn affects that individual’s behaviour and motivation to participate and contribute within the organizational framework.
The development of a strong organizational culture is paramount today and will be even more so in the future when the demand for talent surpasses the supply of talent. The question that we posed to an employer referenced earlier in this article will become a standard question asked by most job seekers. Can you describe your organizational culture today? Is your organizational culture one that will attract and retain employees? Do you factor into your succession planning process what message your culture sends to perspective successors that you have identified?
As an employee, have you determined what the culture is in the organisation you are working with or are looking to work with in the future? Is that culture going to be aligned with your personal values and belief systems? Do you want to wake up energized and ready to go to work, or do you want to emit negative energy and see your career become “just a job.”
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