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Date Created: 11/15/15
Organizational Culture Justin Bringas BUS600: Management Communications with Technology Tools Professor Tvorik June 16, 2011 Let’s take a closer look at organizational culture. Organizational culture can be defined as “the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization. Organizational culture is the sum total of an organization's past and current assumptions, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold it together, and is expressed in its self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world, and future expectations.” (Businessdictionary.com) Organizational cultures is based on the organizations shared beliefs, attitudes, ideas, energy, and unwritten ideas. It can be further explained that the culture is the driving force behind what the organization does. It is the motivating factor for many and can be the decided ways that an organization treats is customers and its employees. Organizational culture, also known as corporate culture, is unique for each organization and can be very hard to change. That’s where I am at today. I work for an organization that is heavily regulated by the Department of Education and the U.S. government. Most recently, we went through some pretty big changes. The Department of Education changed some of its regulations, like how we compensate our admissions counselors, rules of how we represent the university and its programs, and how we recruit among many other things. This has caused a rip tide effect in our organization and thus a big tilt in the universities culture. Senior management has been doing an excellent job in creating the new culture, but it is taking some time to get adjusted to. It seems that a year ago, everyone were doing some amazing things, where as now, people have become very disengaged and the mentality of urgency is almost gone. In this paper we will test that culture in the workplace, and if it has a direct impact on the performance of a department, and come up with a solution to better implement the new culture for more of an immediate response. To do this, we will better define the problem, generate alternative solutions, evaluate and select an alternative, and implement and follow up with the solution. I will then look closely at organizations that were struggling or not meeting investor expectations, and look at how the organizational culture changed, and thus turned the performance of the organization around. First we need to define the problem with the culture and its current shift. July 1, 2011 the new regulations from the Department of Education went into effect. There were many changes that the Department of Education had made but that was ok. We had been doing things the way that they were about to change all along. So there wasn’t really going to be any hiccups. But one thing we did have that we had to get rid of was a matrix. We were no longer allowed to compensate our advisers based on enrollments or the student’s success in class, (retention). Previous to this year, all advisers had a matrix that guided them through there review period. Everyone was driven to do their best and to always succeed in their matrix. Now nothing else had changed, we just got rid of the matrix. We now review on a set of competencies. But this shift in culture has had some effects on the organization. Some people have become disengaged and he urgency in helping people in them have somewhat disappeared. So what are some solutions to helping cure this new culture a lot quicker? So what are some solutions to heal the new culture and get things back to how they were? “All companies have challenges. They can be technical challenges on how to create a particular chemical compound. They can be marketing challenges on how to best describe your product to increase market share. They can be HR challenges around improving employee engagement. An organization’s ability to change (i.e., innovate) hinges on its ability to identify and solve challenges. Challenges are sometimes referred to as problems, issues, or opportunities. But at the end of the day, they are all just various forms of challenges.” (steveshapiro.com) So what challenges are present in this situation? I see that the problem I have noticed when walking around is disengagement, lack of urgency, defeated mentalities, and some have the belief that we are not doing the right things. There have been a lot of ideas going around, like creating a corrective action policy, hold employees accountable to the competencies, and some have even suggested following Zappos. “Apparently, when Zappos hires new employees, it puts them through an intensive four-week training program, immersing them in the company's culture, strategy, and processes. Then, about one week in, Zappos makes what it calls "The Offer," telling newbies, "If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you have worked, plus a $2,000 bonus." A BusinessWeek reporter interviewed Hsieh recently. He says only 2% to 3% of people take the offer. The other 97% say no deal—they choose the job over the instant cash.” (Businessweek.com) Although there are a number of good ideas here, I think that the organization needs to look further into the corrective action policy, and work faster at termination for employees who are no longer committed to the organization’s mission. So how can we implement a strict policy of staying committed to the mission without grave consequences? I believe that we need to do quite a few things. I believe that the culture needs to be renewed first by rebranding the organization. We need to remind our employees of why we do what we do and that is change lives. Having visual aids in the workplace of the people and their families whose lives we are changing need to be placed strategically throughout the organization. I think in the common areas we need video of student success stories. These students could express how we have changed their life and the great opportunities that have risen from being a student. The next thing that needs to happen to embrace the new culture must come from senior management. I think a strong presence from our executive staff explaining where the organization is going, why it is going there, and what the organization expects from its employees need to be readdressed. Last, there needs to be a more aggressive corrective action policy that makes it easier to rid employees who are not committed to the mission. Believe me or not, I have had many conversations with employees that have been blunt and honest in telling me that they don’t believe in the mission statement anymore and are not dedicated to the organization. Separating the organization from the employees is critical in getting the new culture to set in. This will help implement the new culture more successfully. Now in order to be able to temperature check the new culture we can use the following measures. A good organizational culture is one which encourages and enables people to do the right thing without coercion or fear of consequences. So to be able to see that the new culture is working we must be able to see that he employee have become more engaged and are adapt to doing the right things without having to be asked or reminded of what the right things are. An anonymous survey to the employees asking for what they think the culture is at this point would also let you know that the changes in the organizations culture are taking place and settling in. The reason that I chose to write about organizational culture, is that this subject is important for me. For the fact that I work as a director in an organization, that has recently had a change in its culture. The organization had changed the way it compensates its employees due to federal laws. This changed the culture within the whole organization. This has had an initial decrease in production/performance, and it is important that I find a way to change the culture in my division, to better meet the culture the organization as a whole has experienced. As found in the Management of Corporate Culture in Entrepreneurial Firms, corporate culture can be seen as a “true economic liability.” A strong culture has shown too many companies to be seen as a true asset. I believe that this is the backbone to any organization and that with the right, strong culture; the organization will flourish and can the carry on for many years. I look forward to seeing the changes I plan to implement into my division and the culture of the organization. Reference: 1. American Psychological Association. (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. 2. Asif, F.. (2011). Estimating the impact of Denison's (1996), "What is the difference between organizational culture and organizational climate? A native's point of view on a decade of paradigm wars". Journal of Business Research, 64(5), 454. Retrieved June 6, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global. 3. Businessdictionary.com, Retrieved June 6, 2011 4. Businessweek.com, Retrieved July 1, 2011 5. Flamholtz, E., & Randle, Y.. (2009). The Management of Corporate Culture in Entrepreneurial Firms. International Review of Entrepreneurship, 7(3), 175- 194. Retrieved June 7, 2011, from Entrepreneurship. 6. Leaders bully employees to achieve results despite workplace legislation. (6 June). Canada NewsWire, Retrieved June 6, 2011, from ProQuest Newsstand. th 7. O’Rourke, J. (2010). Management communications (4 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall. 8. Christina Rogers, & David Shepardson. (2011, June 6). Akerson's battle plan for GM. Detroit News,p. A.1. Retrieved June 6, 2011, from ProQuest Newsstand. 9. Schwartz, D., Spencer, T., Wilson, B., & Wood, K.. (2011). Transformational Leadership: Implications for Nursing Leaders in Facilities Seeking Magnet Designation. Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN Journal, 93(6), 737-748. Retrieved June 6, 2011, from Research Library. 10. Steveshapiro.com, retrieved on July 2, 2011 11. The Windsor Spitfires' Journey to the Memorial Cup: A New Era of Leadership. (1 July). Case Research Journal, Retrieved June 6, 2011, from ABI/INFORM Global
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