Before we embark upon the task of defining policies, systems & procedures, we find it imperative to say a few words about work culture, which is the guiding force behind any success story.
What are the practical approaches to develop a good work culture within an organization?
An acquired set of traditions translated into a way of living, affecting our conduct, is culture.
Work culture is a pattern of conducting an organization. It reflects the philosophy and style of functioning. The culture of an organization developed over a period may have bearing on it of the background, diverse experiences and other extraneous factors. Work culture is reflected in every activity that we do and therefore we try to do things in a manner that correspond to the existing functioning style.
We have tried to define each alphabet of this word as below to make it understand in its true sense.
C – Commitment
U – Unprejudiced
L – Liberal but not lenient.
T – Time Tested
U – Ultimate
R – Reliable
E – Ethical
If we agree to this definition, we must analyze whether our work culture stands this test or not. Work culture normally deteriorates due to the following reasons.
a) Lack of vision.
b) Lack of well defined goals & objectives.
c) Lack of Discipline.
Need for change a work culture may be necessitated for various reasons and to name a few, this could be due to:
a) Disregard to rules & regulation.
b) Derogatory & unprofessional behavior.
c) Inconvenience to otherwise law abiding and conscientious employees.
d) Low productivity.
e) Lack of quality awareness.
f) Negative feedback from our clients, vendors, customers & Associates.
g) Dishonest Practices.
h) Taking advantages of loopholes & lacunae.
i) Lack of Communication.
j) Lack of Commitment.
The basic impediments in exercising a healthy work culture are:-
a) Why so many solutions do not work or can not be implemented is because difference in thinking amongst the two major partners- Employer & Employees, have been ignored.
b) There is no self correction system of interdependent partners through introspection and objective thinking.
c) No consensus on objectives & methods.
d) No Co-ordination through sharing of information.
e) No proactive approach thus making organizational problems & solutions unpredictable.
f) Lack of compassion in both the partners.
CHANGING THE WORK CULTUREWork culture is always a collective phenomenon because it is shared with people who work within the same environment. Each one of us is a change agent and not necessarily the HR department alone because then it becomes a law enforcement exercise. The change should conceive in the mind of one and all.
The need for change should be objective because a subjective approach will loose the basic purpose of change. If we do it by force it does not achieve the desired objective. It is therefore not the priority of a particular set of people or group who need a change, but the organization as a whole should feel to contribute in bringing the change. A healthy work culture is one where both the partners are consciously aware of their commitments towards each other.
Culture flows from the top & therefore it always remains the responsibility of the top to project it in a healthy way.
BRINGING IN CHANGE
a) First of all, identify the changes required and put them in order of priority.
b) Identify the factors that may have caused the cultural erosion & review it and take necessary steps.
c) Continuously hammer through words, action & other modes of communication on the intention and purpose of change required.
d) Ask suggestions to make it participative.
e) Do away with things that are obsolete and are more of a deterrent than help.
f) Review your own thought at the concept stage and your actions while implementing.
g) Be flexible.
h) Never loose objectivity.
PRACTICAL STEPS TO BRING IN CHANGE
a) Goals & Objectives should be reviewed & redefined wherever necessary keeping flexibility of the environment in mind.
b) Regular in house training and interactive sessions with Mangers & supervisors on the objectives & need for change.
c) No down line involvement unless the change perspective has crystallized.
d) Setting up examples & role model.
e) Proactive approach.
f) Fair Dealings.
g) Strict action against gross indiscipline.
h) Courteous & professional dealings.
i) Discourage group dynamics & gender or language or region bias.
j) Slow but steady implementation of the changes required.
k) A fare, transparent, prompt & effective grievance redressal.
l) Proper delegation.
m) Strict adherence to the revised pattern of behavior, no short cuts.
n) Internal Audit of each department / Section.
o) No short term tactics – all long term strategies.
p) Team Work – No group formation except task oriented.
q) Functional Sanctity.
r) Scheduled review meetings.
Hope this helps :-)