What is culture?
Organizations are sometimes faced with having to make a planned changed management program that will attempt to make large-system changes to the culture. This can be very challenging and difficult to manage. When making these changes is imperative to understand what the current large-system and subsystem cultures are. This will give the base foundation to determine the steps necessary to transition the culture to a new cultural norm.
We are all familiar with cultural. Culture is your surrounding environment and is made up of behavior, assumptions, attitudes, beliefs, and values that a group of people share. Culture is not considered good or bad but can and will either support or impede progress. People learn culture throughout their lives by receiving good or bad consequences for certain behaviors. People have more of a tendency to repeat behavior that produces good consequences such as rewards and this is what molds there culture.
The organizations culture would be all the employee’s personalities and life experiences put together in one giant melting pot along with the organizations beliefs, visions, and values.. For example if the majority of the employees are upbeat and personable the organizations culture would be open and sociable. On the other hand if the majority of the employee’s attitude was negative the organizations culture would be gloomy and uncomfortable. So how can the organization determine what their current culture is? Diagnosing the current culture:
All organizations have a current culture. These cultures for the most part are often in good shape with just a few small flaws. It is imperative to do a diagnosis of the current culture because we are not looking to create a new culture but, asses where necessary improvements are needed and develop a plane for improvement.
The best way to do this is by setting your own perception of the culture aside and hear directly from the employees throughout the organization. You can use a variety of methods to do this such as; interviews, surveys, and focus groups to name a few (Petry, n. d.). Using this methods will allow you to learn; “what people really think about the organization, what motivates them, what behaviors do they believe are rewarded and punished, what are the “unspoken rules” that everyone knows” (Petry, n. d.). Another way to gain valuable information is doing an existing interview when employees depart from the organization.
It is vital to ask specific questions that will allow you to gain understanding of the employee’s beliefs. Questions should be clear and straight forward such as; “Is the quality of product/service a high priority or is bad conduct rewarded or tolerated?” (Petry n. d.). As you start to develop a understanding of the organization culture is through the employees eyes you must remember there could be more than one culture in the mix. These are often referred to as subcultures. Diagnosing Cultures Cont.:
Identifying the subcultures can prove challenging for organizations but the more you can identify the more effective the delivery of cultural change will be. Although it would be nice to be able to cater to each subculture it is not practical and often found that the costs of such a program would outweigh the return. All organizations have to find a cultural norm at a unique balance for their organization.
When determining your culture do not forget to observe your employees for cultural cues such as; rituals, dress, who attends what, and where they sit (Petry, n. d.). Another example of this would be: do the executives and managers join the employees for lunch and how is that interpret this?
The last step in diagnosing your organizations current culture and perhaps the most important is to determine how decisions are being made (Petry, n. d.). This power is dominate in determining the organizations culture. Now that you have all the information you are ready to assess the...
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