How to be different? How to be original and easily remembered? How to tap into customers’ positive emotions? How to attract the best employees? All of these conscious questions are currently troubling most of the organisations. There is usually one answer — start from the inside, from creating organisational culture.

What is organisational culture?

The definition of culture says that it is an information system coding the way in which people in an organised way relate to their social and physical environment. It means that the term organisational culture refers to a set of rules, laws, customs and types of employees’ relationships within one organisation. This system evolves and can change just as the people who create it. In order to get to know the company’s culture, it is worth to focus on physical objects (employees’ outfits, logo, products, interior design, etc.), methods of communication (slogans, language with coworkers and customers, nicknames, etc.), rituals (greetings, negotiations, behaviours during company parties, etc.), myths (history of the organisation, anecdotes about employees, etc.) and taboos (matters that should not to be discussed or even mentioned).

How to form organisational culture?

Organisational culture is not formed through revolutions but needs to evolve on its own. Dramatic changes are usually welcomed with strong resistance, which can result in efficiency decrease of the whole organisation. It is a good practice to form organisational culture by conscious implementing organisational values, creating of the mission and vision, which then are visible through management operational activities. Moreover, internal communication and structure supporting the whole system are equally important. However, the key to success is consistency and keeping it real, which means that all activities done to create the culture should all support each other in a synergy, and the board and managers need to believe in them.

What is the role of HR in managing organisational culture?

Organisational culture should be regularly checked-up by the HR, in order to be able to develop it in the right direction. To achieve that it is essential to determine with the board what culture is welcomed and what is to be achieved. Then how far it is from perfection and what kind of actions need to be taken. It is obvious that creating well thought-through HR processes is also required. Recruitment and selection process should be constructed in such a way that the chosen candidates would find their place in the organisational culture and the development paths would support the culture’s values, ideas and behaviours. All HRM processes have some effect on organisational culture, however, it is important to remember that it is a two-way impact. Therefore, a new HRM process implemented in the company should be adjusted to the organisational culture, so that there would be no negative reaction from the employees.


Glossary:

  • an environment – środowisko
  • an organisational culture – kultura korporacyjna
  • to evolve – ewaluować, rozwijać się
  • a nickname – ksywka, przezwisko
  • conscious – świadomy
  • equally – równie
  • values – wartości
  • a behaviour  – zachowanie
  • to adjust – przystosowywać

Idiom of the Month:

to hear something through the grapevine

meaning:

  • to hear news from someone who heard it from someone else
  • to pass the gossip

in Polish:

  • dowiedzieć się o czymś pocztą pantoflową, wróble na dachu ćwierkały

examples:

  • I heard through the grapevine that Alex is pregnant.
  • Dave will be given the promotion, I heard through the grapevine.

Excercise:

After reading the text above which of the statements are true or false?

Newly employed workers need to change and adapt to company culture.
There is a two-way impact between company culture and HRM processes.
Organisational culture defines how HR needs to develop its processes.
Organisational culture focuses only on relations of employees.
Communication within the company is the sole pillar that supports organisation culture values.
Changes may cause disturbance in the whole organisation.
Each company must consciously designs a plan of organisational culture development.
The corporate culture depends only on the company’s board vision.