How to Justify and Cultivate Your Organizational Culture

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Why is it Important to Consider Your Organizational Culture?

 A workplace that actively encourages interaction improves retention & is more attractive to prospective talent. Building teams that feed off each other & accelerate the pace of achievement becomes increasingly necessary in an era of proliferation for technology & communication. It also becomes increasingly difficult, with pervasive mobility and generational differences, to devise strategies for managing culture. 

When we talk about organizational culture, it’s often in the context of tech giants’ ultra-cool, hyper-social campuses. But looking past the ping-pong tables, how does it happen? In this post, we’re going to examine how to justify and cultivate and organizational culture.

A 2013 study by the German Institute for Study of Labor Research sought to measure the incremental effect “social incentives” had on productivity. It found that a workplace with a higher level of social interaction typically has a higher level of visibility when it comes to the productivity of others, which facilitates comparison. The effects may exacerbate differences in productivity and clearly delineate top- and bottom-percentile performers. The 2013 study found that the “peer quality” of top performers exceeded that of the bottom by an average of 23%. The objective nature of the findings illustrates the importance of having cultural implementation and monitoring processes to avoid possible negative effects of peer pressure on individual performance.

How to Justify Investments in Organizational Culture

Social workplaces engage a wider range of human intelligence.

Interpersonal interaction has been shown to increase metacognition, emotional involvement, and planning quality. By promoting social interaction within the workplace, members’ increasing involvement organically embeds a deeper, more driven effort to achieve into the organization.

The largest positive net effect of combining work and another activity on happiness relates to ‘Talking, chatting, socializing’. . . .There are clearly positive psychological benefits of being able to socialize whilst working. It is the only activity that, in combination with working, results in happiness levels that are similar to those experienced when not working.

A common understanding of culture translates to a common understanding of purpose.

Embedding purpose in practice (beyond mission & vision statements) fulfills peoples’ accelerating need to positively impact society in the course of their work. Effective communication and modeling can be used to align organization’s sense of purpose from the big picture down to the individual.

Gallup reports employees with the right fit, high engagement and 10+ years at the same organization perform 18% higher than the average employee and 35% higher than a worker who lacks all three elements. While the concept is simple, only 5% of employees meet these criteria.

Social workplaces encourage spontaneous interaction.

Unlikely interactions can form relationships that increase both diversity and productivity for the individual and organization. There is transference – gleaning skills and perspective through collaboration. Then, there is the golden moment when a casual encounter is the catalyst for spontaneous innovation.

In a survey of executives at a pharmaceuticals company, data displayed a 10% increase in sales when a salesperson increased interactions with coworkers on other team.

How to Cultivate Organizational Culture

“How do we encourage & support interpersonal relationships while maintaining high levels of professionalism, productivity, and quality?”

Encourage Vulnerability.

Isolationist culture breeds miscommunication and an opaque veil separating people up the ladder. Give employees autonomy, encourage them to relate to each other, and equitably support individuals in their talents and conflicts to facilitate flow of ideas and productivity unimpeded by self-consciousness and doubt. Most importantly, use failure constructively.

99% of employees reportedly think workplace trust is a big deal, but only 29% acknowledge high levels of trust in the workplace.

Embody “Can-Do”, Courtesy, & Candor.

Lead by example – increased productivity on an individual level has been shown to positively impact the productivity of those adjacent. So, maybe, honesty and polite workplace practices as organizational precedent will trickle down to new and existing members.

Between 50-63% of millennials reported a willingness to change jobs in favor of flexible scheduling, locations and workplaces.

Embrace Flexibility & the Individual.

Making an active effort to engage members of organization through providing workplace alternatives and well-distributed attention is not only effective for building morale, it’s on the short-list of concerns for today’s workplace. Incorporate options for varied work styles into your space, encourage positive lifestyle changes, and appreciate the individual by utilization of their specific talents and inclusion in decision-making.

According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace 2017, only 22%, 15% and 13% of employees strongly agree the leadership of their organization has a clear direction, makes them enthusiastic about the future and communicates effectively with the rest of the organization, respectively.


Thanks for Reading!

At Office Furniture Warehouse, our mission is making your workspace work as hard as you do. Cultivating a social culture in the workplace happens organically – the built environment is just one way to influence it. Need a resource for leveraging your workspace toward the benefit of human capital?

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