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  • Writer's pictureCurtis Biller

Culture and YOUR Business in Fargo, Moorhead, and the Entire Midwest

Reflecting on Your Organizational Culture

As we reach the end of yet another year, it is typically a time for reflection and setting goals for the upcoming year. This is true in our personal lives as well as our corporate ones. Whether you are a small business owner, executive, or manager, this marks a great time to reflect on your team’s performance this year. One of the most important things to consider is organizational culture. Let’s take a look at why culture is important and how you can change it if yours isn’t working.

What is Organizational Culture?

Organizational culture is essentially a collection of the behaviors, values, expectations, and practices that a team or company has. This has a significant impact on how team members act with one another, with supervisors, and with customer. Essentially, organizational culture plays a huge role in the success of a team.

What Is My Company’s Organizational Culture?

You likely want to spend some time reflecting on your own organizational culture. This is important whether looking at the culture of an entire organization or just your team. Many managers are tempted to assume that they have a specific culture because they seek to create it. For example, you may want to create an Culture that allows others to take risk and assume leadership, and assume you have done so. However, your employees may disagree, feeling they are not permitted to express ideas or engage in distributed leadership.

In many cases, organizational culture comes down to perception versus reality. You may perceive your culture one way; however, if your employees feel differently, this is not the case. The reality is that an organization’s culture is what most employees perceive it to be.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways to assess organizational culture. One of the simplest ways is to ask yourself if your company’s values and behaviors are reflected in your day-to-day decisions and actions. Another way is simply to listen to employees. This can be done in one-on-ones, meetings, or even through surveys.

Another important tool is to reflect on your interactions with your employees this year as well as how you’ve observed them interact with one another. This can help you get some more insight into how employees view the organization. After all, organizational culture ultimately comes down to interactions and relationships.

How Do I Change My Organizational Culture?

Perhaps you have noticed some major problems in relationships in your team. Perhaps you think your team’s culture is fine but could use a bit of improvement. Regardless of the situation, the good news is that changing organizational culture typically starts with leadership. There have been extensive books written on how to change organizational culture. It’s a complex topic. However, there are some things you can focus on to start.

First, you can not dictate culture. Culture exists in every organization, it is represented through the everyday norms and behaviors that just show up, and it is often influenced by those individuals with strong personalities, and who ae often advocating for a culture that is not in alignment with the leaderships vision. You have to create it with your actions. Culture needs words and actions for change.

Another important strategy is to define and reinforce your ideal culture with practices. Identify the type of culture you want. Follow by linking things like recruitment, interview questions, goal setting, performance evaluations, and professional development towards building that culture.

Finally, it is important to realize that changing culture is a long-term process. Do not expect it to occur overnight. Instead, make consistent, strategic decisions towards creating a culture. Consistent and intentional steps will gradually result in success.

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