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Understanding Company Culture to Boost Productivity and Retention

November 24, 2023
Organisational Culture

We liked this neat piece in HR Zone about how understanding your company culture and creating congruence with your business goals is critical to success but not easy.

The article discusses the importance of company culture in boosting productivity, retention, and a sense of belonging among employees.

It suggests that to improve company culture, it must first be measured, a difficult task due to its intangible nature.

Schein's definition of organisational culture is probably best known.

Organisational culture is the pattern of basic assumptions that a given group has invented, discovered, or developed in learning to cope with its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, and that have worked well enough to be considered valid, and, therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems (Schein, 1984)

And parts of this definition map quite well onto the four things the article suggests need to be addressed when trying to change company culture.

  1. defining the culture - what are the basic assumptions?
  2. understanding what the culture supports - what are the problems the basic assumptions help the organisation to cope with?
  3. determining if the culture aids in achieving business goals - are these problems still relevant to the goals of the organisation?
  4. identifying where the organization currently stands - will the assumptions work well enough to help the organisation reach its current goals?

All of this emphasises the need for a clear understanding of a company's culture and its purpose in order to bring about meaningful change.

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