People in many workplaces talk about organizational culture, that mysterious term that characterizes the qualities of a work environment. When employers interview a prospective employee, they often consider whether the candidate is a good cultural fit. Culture is difficult to define, but you generally know when you have found an employee who appears to fit your culture. He just feels right.
Culture is the environment that surrounds you at work all of the time. It is a powerful element that shapes your work enjoyment, your work relationships, and your work processes. However, culture is not something that you can see, except through its physical manifestations in your workplace.
In many ways, culture is like personality. In a person, the personality is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, experiences, upbringing, and habits that create a person’s behavior.
Culture is made up of such traits shared by a group of people. Culture is the behavior that results when a group arrives at a set of generally unspoken and unwritten rules for working together.
An organization’s culture is made up of all of the life experiences each employee brings to the organization. Culture is especially influenced by the organization’s founder, executives, and other managerial staff because of their roles in decision making and strategic direction. Still, every employee has an impact on the culture that is developed at work.
Culture can be represented in a group’s language, decision making, symbols, stories and legends, and daily work practices.
Something as simple as the objects chosen to grace a desk tells you a lot about how employees view and participate in your organization’s culture. Your internet sharing in programs like Skype and Slack, your bulletin board content, the company newsletter, the interaction of employees in meetings, and the way in which people collaborate, speak volumes about your organizational culture.