Managing Organizational Culture

Organizational culture is the surface on which an organization’s structure lives, grows, and all corporate decisions are based. Without culture in an organization, it is like a house having no foundation. The operations and decision-making would be significantly affected by an organization if a culture does not exist. Organizational culture is the soul that binds the structure or framework of various departments of any organization to work collectively. Corporate culture is how employees within the organization relate to one another, how their behavior and feelings of workers can negatively or positively impact the organization’s success or failure. It is worthy to note that organizational culture can evolve or change due to external or internal factors that may alter its perception. Over time, employees’ behaviors and feelings would change as they continue to represent their culture. Whether an organizational structure is centralized or decentralized, culture influences how employees interact and their work environment. To further understand how corporate culture allows for a structured organization’s efficiency and effective operations, we shall highlight three areas that can improve organizational culture to operate an efficient and effective organizational structure. They are namely: age group and job tenure, and training of leadership.

Generational perspective

Strategic managers must understand the makeup of the generation or age group they are recruiting. Meaning they must understand the psychological and sociological makeup of the age group they employ or recruit with the organization and identify and constantly imbibe the organizational culture to this respective age group. It is Significant for managers of an organization to be familiar with generational differentiation at the workplace to enable all employees (varying age groups) to perform satisfactory work, be motivated, and engage in effecting positive change within the organization. Their ability to effectively communicate the company’s culture, understand and appreciate the diversity of age groups in the workplace would increase the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency. Managers need to know the various perceptions of their employees as they come from all works of life (differing backgrounds). It enables the manager to create harmony and understanding with these varying age groups whenever differences arise at the workplace. It allows Management to incorporate the organization’s culture on a level playing field to all age groups that make up the organization, thereby reinforcing the organization’s hierarchical structure or authority.

Organization Employee Longevity

Improving the culture of any organization (employer or employee) is also dependent on the job security of the organization environment and how this vital factor influences retention or job tenure of the employees in the organization structure. Commitment from an employee towards an organization depends mainly on the impact of the employer’s organizational culture. Organizational tenure is an essential factor that influences the employee to commit to the job role due to perceived corporate culture and consequent the exhibition of behaviors. The longer a worker senses they are valued in the organization, the more valuable they become as an asset and the longer they will stay committed to that establishment. As they grow in acquiring more experience on the job and changes occur with the organization environment, this only establishes continued employment and ongoing commitment for the organization. Managers looking to solidify the organizational structure most thrive on creating an enabling environment (culture) that translates optimum performance from their employees. They must allow their employees to feel at home or comfortable in the organization, translating them to becoming better citizens and role models within the organization. Due to the way Management perceives them, these employees become valuable assets to the organization structure.

Discover talent early

For managers looking to improve their organizational structure, they must imbibe the culture of looking within the organization to discover Managerial talents that can change the dynamics of the ever-evolving business environment.
Unfortunately, organizations are downplaying the diverse talents within their resource pool. They systematically undermine the development of this diverse group of people by allowing them (diverse group) to work harder than most for their colleagues, enabling them to justify their position within the organization as high performers in other to be considered for similar management opportunities of their colleagues. As a result of the scrutiny of their job (skills and capabilities), they often never get recommended for top management positions.
Despite this rich pool of talents, some organizations are not inclusive in including this diverse personnel in top managerial roles. It can create unfairness, disharmony, and segregation of minorities who have the potentials to manage at the top of their organization. It may distort this group of people (diverse group), thereby creating a demotivate attitude not to give their best. To enable Management to sync their organization structure and culture together, they must begin to look inwards to identify potential diverse talents earlier on in their careers. Diversification is becoming a cultural trend among organizations; therefore, organizations must learn to adapt to sustain growth and development in the 21st century. Identifying diverse talents can accelerate enormous differentiation for organizations that are willing to break the norm. Boston Consulting Group (2018) discovered that companies with various leadership teams outperformed their peers by a margin of 19 percent. The survey found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity achieve a higher profit of 35 percent against organizations for gender diversity at 15% (McKinsey & Co., 2015). But the CEO for the future will be differentiated by a growth mindset and will be agile, resilient, and purpose-driven to execute and achieve results. It becomes more critical for structures to be more established and Management to create a level playing field to allow the culture to be whole encompassing for all groups that make up an organization. They must know how they must leverage and mobilize diverse teams to think differently and lead the line of innovation and success for their establishment in the competitive market. Top Management must begin to look inwards to solidify the organization structure by allowing their corporate culture to springboard capable leaders (within the diverse group) to create maximum value for the company.

Identifying a good organization from a bad one

According to greatplacetowork.com, Cisco, and Workday were among the fortune 100 Best places to work for 2020. So, what made these two organizations stand out from the pack of organizations? Below are our findings:

Cisco’s purpose is to power an inclusive future for all. They believe in technology’s ability and what technology does for the communities, businesses, and governments worldwide. Their mission and vision state says a lot about the corporate culture and how that impacts their employees. They incorporate the cooperate culture into their organizational structure, which in turn has a positive effect on their employees. Based on findings from greatplacetowork.com, 97% of Cisco employees stated it is a great place to work compared to 59% of other employees at a standard U.S.-based organization. That reveals the organization is a very inclusive and good representation of all age groups in their organization. Millennials 38%, Gen X -47%, and Baby Boomers 14%, and their record of employee organizational longevity (tenure) is great, meaning employees are comfortable and want to work for Cisco for a considerable period. 40% of employees have worked there for two years, 45% have been employed for 2-5 years, 13% have worked between 6-10 years and 2% for 11-15 years. Cisco’s organizational structure was not this good some years ago, as they had to undergo restructuring. They began by undergoing risk management analysis in 2006 that persuaded Cisco’s IT president that they need restructuring. That allowed Cisco to move from their stagnate silo-based organizational structure to a more lifecycle-based system that comprised six stages: Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement Operate and Optimize. This new structure provided more understanding and clarity on each step of a project and permitted employees to concentrate on their specific areas of expertise.

The results from the restructuring from Cisco were evident:
(a) established and defined roles for departments (employees) and increased productivity. (b) The restructuring improved communication, productivity, and customer satisfaction (c) Created more time for employees to train and mentor new employees (d) Client complaints drastically dropped from 150 per quarter to 70 per quarter; this allowed employees to have more time to engage clients and educate them about Cisco processes (Wang, 2015). Management realized that organizational structure and strategy were not effective and efficient to align the employees to work with culture and framework (design) that was non-existent in the first place.

Greatplacetowork.com listed Workday as the 5th best company in Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For 2020. Their mission and vision are to deliver financial management, human capital management, and analytics application designed for established organizations, educational institutions, and government agencies. They have 8552 U.S.-based employees, 47% Millennials, 42% Gen- X, and 10% Baby Boomers. That indicates the employees are more youthful, trendy, and more modern with the dynamics of the 21st century. The organization’s tenure ranges from 40% employees worked for two years, 45% have served between 2-5 years, 13% have worked for 6-10 years, and 2% have worked for 11-15 years. Indication of how the organization structure (hierarchical structure) has an interface with the organization’s culture reveals the impacts it has on Workday employees. According to the survey, 93% of employees at Workday said it was a great place to work than 59% of employees at an average U.S. Based company. Types differentiate the workday organizational hierarchy: HR organization, cross-function organization, costing Org. and Payroll Org. types.

The below are the following key activities of the organization:
Staffing Allocations, Organization Hierarchies, Role Allocations, and Financial and Payroll types. Going through their leadership team organizational chart, they operate a centralized system, whereby some level of independence (flexibility) is given to the top Management to make decisions (Workday, Inc. 2021).

Compare and contrast good and bad organization management.
Good Organization

  1. Provide adequate benefits, good remunerations
  2. Sales are good, as workers are happy to put effort into improving productivity.
  3. Wages are stable, and promotions are by merit and performance, the work environment is enjoyable.
  4. Leadership abilities are solid and present, no micromanagement of staff and growth within the organization are encouraged.

Bad Organization

  1. Inadequate services, lack of overtime pay, and unforgiving company policies.
  2. A decline in sales and complaints of poor pay
  3. Overbearing Management, poor wages, rigid politics, and a stressful working environment
  4. Poor leadership, poor wages, micromanagement, and inadequate opportunities for growth

Conclusion and Implications
For organizations to transition to more flexible structures, they need to look inwards to train potential leaders within the establishment. They must be more inclusive and be more diverse to select talents that would bring more dynamism and innovation to lead the organization as the business environment continues to evolve. They must embrace all employees regardless of their race or background to embrace the organization’s culture willingly. For organizations that desire to be more team-oriented, collaborative, and inclusive, they must unify all generations (Gen-x, Millennials, and Baby boomers), understand, and manage their attitudes and behaviors to give their best towards the growth of the organization. Management must lead and teach the corporate culture and ideals of the organization. They need to learn new skills to help them manage a diverse set of employees that contributes to the organization’s success. When employees are motivated and work in a stress-free environment, this would contribute to organizational tenure. As employees would desire to stay longer and contribute to the growth of the organization.

Great Place to work. (2020). Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® 2020. https://www.greatplacetowork.com/best-workplaces/100-best/2020.

Hunt, V., Layton, D., & Prince, S. (2015, February 2). Diversity Matters. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/why-diversity-matters.

Lorenzo, R., Abouzahr, K., Krentz, M., Tsusaka, M., & Voigt, N. (2018, January 28). How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation. https://www.bcg.com/publications/2018/how-diverse-leadership-teams-boost-innovation.

Wang, D. (2015, March 4). From Silos to Success: Cisco’s Formula For Successful Reorg. https://www.tinypulse.com/blog/from-silos-to-success-ciscos-formula-for-success-organizational-change#:~:text=Cisco%20IT%20moved%20from%20a,their%20specific%20areas%20of%20expertise.

Workday, Inc. (2021). OUR STORY AND LEADERSHIP. https://www.workday.com/en-us/company/about-workday/our-story-leadership.html#!

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