Shaping Positive Organisational Culture

Ship sailing on sea and cosmos

Shaping a positive organisational culture takes time and involves building on positive values, and making an effort to convert these values into daily actions and behaviours. Organizational culture is a notion that we can’t ignore because is actually about our lives. Behind fancy buildings and offices, there are many worlds with their own rules and habits.

Most companies and institutions are aiming for an ideal culture with core values meant to bring them accomplishments and public recognition. Every organization has its own culture and demands compliance with its declared values. When we join a new company its workplace culture takes precedence over our personal preferences. That’s because as new employees, we are expected to adapt to the work environment.

Personal values and Shaping Positive organisational culture

However, we bring with us to a new workplace, not only our professional experience, education and skills, but also our social habits, values, beliefs and dreams. Our values and the new organizational culture are constantly transforming and influencing each other. Also, our core values are changing along with the life events and social problems we face daily. As time passes by, we gain more experience, greater acceptance and understanding of our environment and our own flaws. If we know and act upon our core values, we can easily decide what kind of organisational culture fits us.

So, a strong workplace ethic or good feedback skills of a new colleague might easily embrace each other and create a long-term commitment. But, sometimes these values and habits clash, employees’ adaptation to organisational culture never occurs and the result is quiet-quitting. For a healthy and positive culture, we need good leadership committed to both peoples’ and businesses’ needs.

Ideal Workplace Culture Vs. Real Workplace Culture

A positive workplace culture is a long-term mission and a promise to fulfil. As with any promise, it takes time and effort to become real. This is the reason why in every organisation, there are at least two coexisting cultures. There is the ideal culture, the wishful thinking that we are striving for and chasing and there is the real workplace culture, the daily routine and efforts we make with what we already have, good or bad.

To shape a positive culture, we need to reinforce people. According to Gallup’s report on Employee Engagement, worldwide engaged employees regard their lives more highly and experience more positive emotions.

Also, the same report confirms that employee engagement drives growth. Recognizing and reinforcing people’s achievements, no matter how small or great, will strengthen a culture of encouragement and create a positive culture. Supporting and encouraging words and behaviours have a positive impact on all of us.

So, using tools like rewarding performance, celebrating success, and honest and open communication regarding business obstacles, will most likely grow loyalty among colleagues and relationships can become more straightforward.

To avoid employee disengagement and low productivity rates we need to provide a safe and encouraging work environment and set up a clear communication process. This will lead us to have a sense of trust and belonging and obviously to business success. Of course, the practices and procedures evolve, but, if we get the basics right, will have a chance to grow a great business with people that enjoy working with each other.

Organisational Communication And Positive Culture

We associate a positive culture with ethical behaviours and alignment with moral values. Mutual respect, inclusivity, transparency, honesty and clear authentic communication are some of the moral standards we expect from a positive workplace culture. The true core of a positive culture is honest and transparent communication with each other. Shaping a positive organizational culture might not be so difficult if we try to implement efficient communication tools.

These are some blueprints that will help in putting in place transparent communication across the organization:

  • Explain and constantly communicate everyone’s responsibilities
  • Keep the information about the internal recruitment process, working politics and procedures simple, transparent and visible
  • Create and agree on a communication map
  • Involve people in deciding the communication channels and decide together
  • Using communication templates across organizations for simplifying and standardization
  • Constantly review and adapt the communication channels
  • Guide and support goal setting and sharing people’s success
  • Give people a chance to express themselves through the intranet, team events, blogs or other tools.

How do we create a positive organisational culture?

Creating these blueprints as well as setting the organisations’ course towards a strong sense of purpose is a leadership responsibility. Even small adjustments in workflows or simply putting an effort into responding to employee’s needs can make a difference. Shaping a positive organisational culture is also about people being and working together towards a promising future. Also, a leader able to foster professional growth, recognise people’s achievements and properly reward accomplishments is a driving force for positive change.

Hopefully, real leaders can create an optimistic and strong vision statement to motivate and inspire people to shift their behaviours. In building a long-lasting positive culture organisations need highly competent and motivated leaders. The reason for that is that, besides aligning all systems and internal processes, they are to shape clear action individual plans. They need to offer a positive expectations horizon and genuine personal fulfilment for everybody. A high level of engagement, a lifelong learning mindset and acting on positive personal values might be the main ingredients of a positive organisational culture.

Definitely, leaders play an important part in setting the premises of a positive organisational culture. They are seen as legitimate examples and have a real impact throughout the organization. As communicators across the organisation, they can openly and transparently set expectations, and provide feedback. But, most of all their role is to empower, reward and recognize those positive behaviours contributing to a positive culture of sharing, engagement and support.

Who builds an organisational culture?

We all build it by following our daily plans, acting upon our values, and surpassing our limits, we are part of the organizational core culture behaviours. Our personal worlds are permanently colliding and we are constantly transforming and influencing each other values, habits and daily behaviours.

However, the economic and political challenges we face keep getting more complex and entangled. Too often we forget that a positive workplace culture is what we all are aiming for, no matter our profession or where we live. At the end of the day, all of us want to be acknowledged, treated fairly and helped through our professional journeys.