Organizational Culture for a Successful 2023

It may be good for organizations to ensure their culture is more diverse, inclusive & flexible

– Euden Koirala –

The recent ‘Covid years’ have taught us how to adjust to and adapt to unforeseen situations, both on the personal front and at work. While on the personal front, we might have been adjusting to multitasking (like balancing household responsibilities along with work meetings) and several other adjustments that arise when working from the home.

As employees, we have had to shift our mindset and adjust to remote working with less or no in-person communication, which has brought with it several challenges. A large part of the adaptation has been shuttling between working from home (WFH) and working from the office (WFO). Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, in this part of the world, WFH was barely heard of while managing it was another question. Over time, we learned to manage this and some with high efficiency, which even led some organizations to make remarkable changes in their ways of working thus resulting in new and exciting workplace cultures evolving.

While organizations have always been speaking about having the right person in the right place, it is also time to ponder if the organization has the Right Culture in place to attract the right or desired people on board.

An organization’s culture is the organization’s personality. A positive workplace culture is the backbone of any organization and could be used as a key strategy to thrive in 2023. It is the environment created by the organization for their employees which plays a vital role in the performance and satisfaction of the employees.

In the new world of work, how do you want your organization to be identified? Friendly? Challenging? Nurturing? Engaging? Motivating? Collaborative? Autonomous? What is your work environment like? Is it happy? Energetic? How is the workspace? The décor? How do the team members interact with one another? Do they openly share ideas and communicate? Are they comfortable with one another? These are the questions to be thought through when identifying/setting your organization’s culture.

Building a positive organizational culture begins with ensuring everyone in the organization understands the organization’s Vision, Mission and Values. It is ensuring every employee has set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which support the organization’s vision, mission, values and objectives. This workplace culture includes the organization in its entirety. It originates from the senior leadership and is spread to all levels and areas of the organization right from the hiring process to day-to-day activities. It includes creating a space where people feel free to communicate and enjoy work thus enhancing innovation and creativity.

In today’s world where Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) are the buzzwords, it may be good for organizations to ensure their culture is more diverse, inclusive and flexible. Hybrid working can be an example in this regard. The new world of work is adopting new work cultures. It should bind employees together and motivate them.

Every organization’s culture is unique and displays the character of the organization. There are several characteristics of a positive workplace culture. However, highlighting the top are as follows:

Strong Leadership – Every environment is initially set by the leaders in the organization. Leadership and people skills are key to building a positive environment. The leaders should realize that they are being watched and imitated often, thus they should consciously ‘walk the talk’, making efforts to be the change they want to see in the organization.

Open Communication –  Another major factor that identifies with work culture is Communication. Managers must create an open space culture and encourage employees to speak up as well as share ideas and thoughts openly. It is important for all to be clear in their communication. Appreciation should be readily practiced, which is a motivating factor for all employees, further resulting in creating a positive culture.

Engaged employees – An organization’s positive environment can be identified from the engagement level of the employees. When employees are engaged, the spirit of belongingness and onus is displayed which is a win-win situation for both parties i.e. the organization and the employees. Engaged employees also bring innovation and creativity to work.

Once we have identified the characteristics of a positive organizational culture, it may also be helpful to know the advantages brought along into the workplace that help build the identity of the organization.

It is seen that a positive workplace culture prioritizes the well-being of employees, offers support to all employees and encourages respect and trust. It may thus be a good time now to reflect on what our organization’s culture is like and work towards where we want to make changes or build on what we already have this 2023.
Creating a Culture is a Journey, not a Destination. Bon Voyage!

Koirala is the Head of People & Organizational Development Head of People & Organizational Development at WaterAid.

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