Organizational Culture: Values and Core Beliefs

Organizational culture can be defined as a system of shared beliefs and values that develops within an organization and guides the behavior of its members.

It includes routine behaviors, norms, dominant values, and a feeling or climate conveyed. The purpose and function of this culture is to help foster internal integration, bring all employees from all levels of the organization much closer and enhance their performance. It also serves as qualities that an organization appreciates and would require members of the organization to chase after. I personally believe that Organizational Values promote healthy growth of an organization. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, humans have a fundamental need to associate with something that they can feel proud of.

People display different behaviors as per the below process:

In my current organization, one of the biggest challenges for me was to create a culture wherein every employee displayed the organization values and communicated with each other in one common language. My first step was to create awareness on organization values, its importance and how it creates a positive impact on the organization and the employees. Hence, I thought of using the analogy of Thermometer v/s Thermostat.

It was easy for me to explain the usage of a thermometer; it is used to check your body temperature. However, the challenge was to explain how thermostat works and its importance. It’s a device that automatically regulates the room temperature. Generally, in all offices the thermostat is set on a standard temperature (24 Degrees). This creates a pleasant working environment for all the employees. Despite of the outside temperature, thermostat allows employees to be at ease.

Employees do not have the permission to change the temperature (Thermostat), hence they accommodate themselves by wearing suitable clothing. This eventually creates a standard comfortable environment for all employees.

In the above analogy “Thermostat” is referred to Organization Values. As I explained earlier that we do not have the permission to change the thermostat and we have to adapt to the office temperature, we also have to adapt to the organization values and start displaying those values. After successfully creating the awareness, my second step was the implementation and execution of our organization values.

My approach was to associate these values in every aspect of employees working environment. We introduced these Organization Values in our – Induction Program, Recruitment Process, Performance Management System, Awards & Recognition Program & Talent Management. Nevertheless, we assess incumbents not only on their knowledge and skills but also on our values. These assessments enable us to identify the right fitment for our company and it further helps us to build the culture.

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Anand Vakharia has a Masters in Business Management (Human Resources) and a certified Life Coach through ICF – International Coach Federation. He has over 18 years of experience in Organization Development, Learning & Development, Talent Management & Employee Engagement in Healthcare,Education, IT & Telecom Industries across USA, Philippines & India. He is currently working with Wemet Group (UK) as Head Human Resources and previously has worked with IBM, Manipal Group & Vodafone.