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What are the key elements to establish and strengthen a positive organizational culture?

We usually measure the state of “health” and success of companies through their financial results. But, in order for benefits to have been obtained at the end of the year, it is necessary that each of the pieces of the organization has worked perfectly, as if it were a newly oiled gear. It is then that we can appreciate the importance of organizational culture and the effects it can have on the positive future of a business if it is well managed.

Organizational culture extends to many of the company's operations and influences the performance of its employees. It applies to the way of selecting, how talent is retained, the type of communication developed within the organization, and even the relationship with clients.

Therefore, achieving a positive organizational culture should not simply be an aspiration. Is a strategic goal that you have to try to achieve at all costs, because it can drive business profitability and sustainability. Let's see, then, what companies can do to improve their culture and make it truly positive.

Table of Contents

What do we understand by positive organizational culture?

With this concept we are referring to that set of beliefs, attitudes, values, and practices shared within an organization, which give rise to a healthy and motivating work environment.

It is a culture that makes each member of the staff feel valued by both their colleagues and their superiors. From this comes the desire of each employee to give their best, something that benefits both them and the company itself. 

Some of the signs that indicate that we are facing a company with a positive organizational culture are the following:

Clear values

The values and principles of the organization are well defined. All staff members know and understand them. 

The most common are ethics, integrity and respect, but “state-of-the-art” values can also be added, such as those related to sustainability.

The important thing is that these values are not a dead letter. That is The organization must act in a way that complies with them.

Open and transparent communication

In a company with a positive organizational culture, communication flows to all levels of the organization, and it is as clear and honest as possible.

This overcomes the traditional “fear” of employees to express their ideas, opinions and concerns. But, to be completely effective, the management has to be able to practice active listening.

Inspirational leadership

In organizations that already have an organizational culture of positive effects, the leader transcends what is a mere “boss”. He is a person who leads the team and becomes a role model.

Keys to achieving a positive organizational culture

There is no single path. Each company is different and it is the company that decides how to create its culture and based on what. But experience tells us that there is a set of measures or elements that can promote the development of a positive organizational culture.

Identify values and enact them

Every company has a mission, vision and values. The problem is that these concepts are often abstract and We don't really know how to make them a reality.. On the other hand, it is common for employees to have no idea what the mission, vision or values of the company they work for are.

The first step to building a strong organizational culture is define values that align with the objectives that the company wants to achieve. The second is demonstrate that those values are authentic and that the organization is capable of putting them into practice. Furthermore, it is essential that employees, suppliers, customers, and even investors are aware of these values and how to act to make them a reality.

Trust the skills of employees

Selection processes are usually long and complex, because companies are very demanding when it comes to filling a position. They want the person who occupies it to have a good number of technical skills and even more soft skills.

But, when push comes to shove, when employees are already integrated into the company, they are not trusted enough.

Instead, it is possible convert professional and personal development into one of the company's values. Value that can be carried out by giving greater autonomy to staff members. Demonstrating to them that you trust their responsibility and their abilities to achieve the goals that have been set for them.

Give autonomy, offer training, and one positive and constructive feedback, encourage the development of employees at different levels. And there is no better way to show a person that you have confidence in them and their abilities than to help them be the best version of themselves.

Encourage communication

We have previously mentioned that one of the features that helps us identify an entity with a good organizational culture is that within it we appreciate clear and honest communication.

However, This type of communication is not achieved overnight.. To achieve it, the Transparency must be one of the values of the organization and, from there, we work to ensure that communication is truly effective.

It is the company through its leaders that must set an example in this matter. If the leader is honest when communicating, does not deliberately hide information, and shows his willingness to resolve doubts and listen to what his subordinates have to say, they will be much more willing to express themselves.

On the other hand, we must take into account that, no matter how much climate of trust exists, for some people it is still difficult to expose a problem directly to a superior. Therefore, it is important work different communication channels, such as an email for suggestions, or even an anonymous complaint mailbox.

Promote a good mood

Work and the responsibilities that it entails must be taken seriously, but that does not mean spending the day in a bad mood or under stress. Because it turns out that human beings have the ultimate weapon to overcome that feeling of anxiety and stress that is common at work: the sense of humor.

There are more and more studies that defend that laughing at work relieves stress, because it helps release tension. 

Leaving a little room for employees to joke, or even starting the day by sending a humorous email, can Help everyone feel a little better and perform better.

By worrying about the morale of their employees, companies are turning into reality a value that is as important today as taking care of the mental health of their staff. Therefore, by leaving aside the sobriety of the work environment a little, the organizational culture is achieved to have positive effects on the employees and on the entity itself.

Promote a healthy lifestyle

More and more companies are concerned about the health of their employees on a physical and mental level. And they can turn these values into a reality through measures that promote a healthier lifestyle.

Direct measures can be taken such as promote sports practice, or talks with nutritionists who give guidelines on what a healthy and balanced diet looks like. But there are other measures that the company can take that help even more to care for the health of its workers. For example, do not overload with tasks, reduce the number of overtime hours, or adopt a work schedule that allows conciliation of personal and professional life.

We have seen five measures, but the truth is that the list would be almost endless. The important thing is to be clear that establishing a positive organizational culture It is something that takes time and requires continuous effort on the part of the company. It is a fundamental part of the organization's strategy and, as such, it has to evolve to remain effective.

If achieved, it will not take long for results such as improved employee motivation, increased productivity, increased talent retention rate and decreased absenteeism rate to become visible.

An organization that works to have a positive organizational culture increases your resilience and, with it, its chances of achieving long-term success. Because more committed and motivated employees contribute more effectively to achieving business achievements. 

For all these reasons, dedicating time and resources to working on organizational culture should not be seen as an expense, but rather as an investment that will give results in the short term and will allow them to be maintained in the long term.

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