Over my career and more specifically over the past few months there have been situations or queries from clients about best values fit, how to ensure new hires are a fit for their organizational culture and more specifically the teams they are hiring too. 

Every organization has a unique culture which guides their work and the way they work together towards their shared vision and goals. Organization Culture has a very important role to play and and is defined by Edgar Schein as: 

“… the values and beliefs of an organization. The principles, ideologies as well as policies followed by an organization form its culture. It is the culture of the workplace which decides the way individuals interact with each other and behave with people outside the company. The employees must respect their organization’s culture for them to deliver their level best and enjoy their work…Organizations do not adopt a culture in a single day, instead it is formed in due course of time as the employees go through various changes, adapt to the external environment and solve problems. They gain from their past experiences and start practicing it everyday thus forming the culture of the workplace.“

Schein believed that there are three levels in an organization’s culture.

  1. Artifacts: The first level is the characteristics of the organization which can be easily viewed, heard and felt by individuals collectively known as artifacts. The dress code of the employees, office furniture, facilities, behavior of the employees, mission and vision of the organization all come under artifacts and go a long way in deciding the culture of the workplace.
  2. Values: The next level which constitutes the organization culture is the values of the employees. The values of the individuals working in the organization play an important role in deciding the organization culture. The thought process and attitude of employees have a deep impact on the culture of any particular organization. What people actually think matters a lot for the organization.The mindset of the individual associated with any particular organization influences the culture of the workplace.
  3. Assumed Values: The third level is the assumed values of the employees which can’t be measured but do make a difference to the culture of the organization. There are certain beliefs and facts which stay hidden but do affect the culture of the organization. The inner aspects of human nature come under the third level of organization culture.The organizations follow certain practices which are not discussed often but understood on their own. 

So what does this mean to you, your team and your organization and the way you engage with partners, stakeholders and each other? It means that if you understand your organizational culture you are in a much better position to be able to identify your strengths and attributes, as well as your pain points and create an alignment between your values and your vision for the organization. 

Organizations by Design Inc. conducts organizational cultural audits with clients, provides recommendations and works with them to customize a plan to maximize their organizational culture.

For more information reach out to us at info@organizationsbydesign.ca We look forward to having a complimentary consultation to discuss your unique leadership and organizational development needs.