Alignment of your personal values to the company's culture can lead to great success if they are in tune, and much misery if they are not. Choose the right fit for you...it's your future.
Culture at the Heart
Culture lies at the heart of an organisation and helps define who the business is, what they do and why they do it.
It includes company values, ways of communicating, conflict management, systems, processes, performance and deliverables, and the reward system. It sets out what is important to the organisation, and how the company lives and “breathes” on a day to day basis.
Culture is the people and social environment in which the business operates and all staff should feel engaged. This in turn motivates individuals and teams to deliver and often determines how staff are identified in the business as a whole; their level of freedom within the organisation, and how they are encouraged to be innovative.
A strong culture can help attract and retain staff, and ensures the right “business fit” for the organisation, promoting company values, personal and business growth and an alignment in ways of working and objective achievement.
However, to be successful in recruiting and retaining the best, the business also needs to live and breathe its own culture from the top down and lead by example. If the culture doesn’t match day to day what the company says it is then this could lead to unhappy staff and perhaps exiting staff.
Peas in a Pod?
Charles Handy (Four Cultures Theory, 1999) states that there are 4 major types of organisational culture. These culture types can help to understand the link between company structure and its culture, and between recruitment and retention.
Power - This culture type is where they key person to the organisation sits at the centre (think of a spider in the middle of a web), and the closer you are to the centre, the greater ability you have to influence. Often it is a dictatorship but not always.
Role - This culture sets out the importance of roles and how they fit together. Each role plays an important part in keeping the “columns and beams” standing, and an important factor is how the roles are shared and the work is allocated. Although team work is important here this culture is more about the role itself and the focus on structure, rules and standardisation than the individual e.g. when a person exits the business, the role continues and the structure remains standing.
Task - This is a culture which is job or project focused. The rest of the organisation is represented as a net, with the key areas being those where tasks/jobs intersect e.g. matrix. Task culture is about getting the job done, and this is achieved through bringing together all relevant resource and expertise. The group and team capabilities are stronger than the sum of the parts and through collaboration results are achieved. Collaboration is attractive to a wide range of people and this can help to recruit and retain long serving staff.
Person/Support - This culture type is more rare than the others. Some organisations may have an element of this culture mixed in with their major culture although typically there is a business objective in most organisations so the person culture is not usually the prominent one.
Handy’s Theory can help you to understand why in some roles you have felt "uncomfortable" and unmotivated in comparison to others where you have felt happy and inspired.
Although the competition for work is fierce following Covid-19 pandemic, there are opportunities out there. Some will be right for you and others won't, so be sure to align your values, abilities, skills and experience to a role and culture fit that is right for you.
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