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 organization? 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 organizations feeling confident enough, such that we don’t even care if our people really want to work with us or not?
We need to remember that the rules by which an organization 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 organization 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 organization. This creates an organization 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. On the other hand, the organization that you are working for is very task-oriented, business only and shows a great deal of reluctance in exploring new ways of doing things. With everyone having a role to play, without any deviation, 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 who is excited about what the day is about to bring, or do you see an unhappy individual, challenged by values? Interestingly, high functioning organizations are comprised of individuals whose overt behaviours are consistent with their covert values.
Having a positive and aligned culture, benefits the organization 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 organization 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 consider what message your culture sends to perspective successors that you have identified, as a part of your succession planning process?
As an employee, have you determined what the culture is, in the organization 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 system? 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.”
- “Matching People with Organizational Culture”, Asim Khan,CEO - Business Management Group, Inc.