Organizational Culture: What is it and What are the Challenges

Organizational culture, what is it? It's the lifestyle of the company, but also so much more! Learn more about its challenges in this article.

Company Culture
Employee Experience

Cindy Boisvert

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Organizational culture, also known as company culture, is one of the most important criteria for candidates when selecting a job. It also represents an important aspect for existing employee, allowing them to develop a strong sense of belonging.

Representing the lifestyle of the company, developing a healthy culture should become a priority for every organization. It is the company’s culture that allows its members to move in the same direction; towards success.

Corporate culture, however, is not without its issues. Organizations need to recognize numerous factors in order to better reflect what the company is all about. But what exactly is organizational culture, and what are its implications?

Reading this article will certainly enlighten you!

Organizational culture, what is it?

Organizational culture represents a company’s overall lifestyle, and involves a variety of elements that make your organization stand out among internal and external collaborators.

For example:

  • the beliefs of the company
  • working methods of the company
  • its history
  • its ethics
  • the level of social engagement
  • the values of the company and how it transmits them to others
  • fun at work, and the well-being of its employees
  • teamwork
  • the quality of customer service
  • the working environment
  • the dress code

Yes, the dress code is an element that can be part of your organizational culture!

Why is it that in IT and communication companies, it is not uncommon to see the Vice President and his team of developers in jeans and flip-flops during the summertime?

Make no mistake, it is not the imposition of the shirt-and-tie dresscode at other companies that eliminates the fun from the workplace. It is simply one aspect that characterizes the organization’s culture, which is tailored to each’s specific needs.

Each company adopts its own organizational culture and will have its own cultural DNA. Every aspect you incorporate into your company reflects your culture and engages your employees… and because engaged employees are productive employees, your brand will certainly shine!

Company fit : as important as job fit

During the interview process, one of the many steps for an effective recruiting process, you try to identify those who have the knowledge and skills to meet and overcome the challenges of the position in question. You might also look for the person whom you feel will “click”, both with you and others in the organization!

The same applies for the company’s culture; it is important that your team consists of individuals who fit with the corporate culture you have built.

Conversely, potential employees also hope to work in an organization that shares their beliefs and values!

Challenge # 1: Maintaining organizational culture

The major challenge for any company is maintaining its healthy organizational culture. It is your own actions that reflect the company’s culture, and it is imperative that it remains a unifying element.

Maintaining your organizational culture will increase the level of employee engagement. Better yet, if there is a real fit between the values of the company and those of its members, you will witness a significant increase in the overall level of job satisfaction.

And we all know that increasing job satisfaction reduces turnover!

Challenge # 2: Reinforcing it at all times

Organizational culture must also be constantly represented throughout the company. Our values, ethics, and even general work environment must be present and consistent every single day.

Company culture must be non-sporadic in order to allow us to truly feel like we can be ourselves, After all, how would it be possible to engage and motivate employees if our overall vision is constantly changing?

However, constant reinforcement of culture does not mean that it can’t be improved, on the contrary! Simply avoid adapting your organizational culture to any given situation, or being selective and changing it according to who you talk to in the business.

Challenge # 3: Involve all team members

The organizational culture must involve all employees. It can even be emerged and built from your team, rather than having it imposed on them by management. Culture needs to be integrated in a natural way to ensure everyone feels they are part of the process. Involve your employees, and you be surely rewarded.

According to the HRM ONLINE, “Happiness at work is a bigger concept than engagement; it’s about providing the resources the individual needs to support themselves and develop their engagement. The employee has to be part of that process”.

The members of your organization must feel involved and embrace your cultural lifestyle. It is essential for its success that everyone be moving in the same direction; hence the importance of continuously optimizing it using the whole team.

Display the essence of your culture all over your walls, if necessary!

What needs to be remembered about organizational culture

To be successful, companies must establish a healthy organizational culture, work to maintain it, and invite its members to actively participate.

An individual who is swimming against the current and unable to perform his/her job optimally, will not be able to achieve long-term success. The same is true for those who are not in an organization that is right for them.

To avoid burnouts, there must be a fit between the individual and the organization. There are ways to find out if the fit is good between an individual and a company.

Here at AtmanCo, our organizational culture is based on “Business Happiness” … And we guarantee that our company is ULTRA-efficient!

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