What Does it Mean to “Humanize” the Organization?
Humanizing the organization is about building a place where people feel inspired to do their best work. The business gets to prosper and employees get to have extra time for themselves and their families at the end of their work.1
But how can we create a culture that helps us become a humanized organization?
To answer this, we will need first to differentiate between a strong culture and a weak one.
Strong Versus Weak cultures
In a strong culture, the organization’s core values are both intensely held and widely shared. The more members who accept the core values and the greater their commitment to those values is, the stronger the culture is. Consistent with this definition, a strong culture will have a great influence on the behavior of its members because the high degree of sharedness and intensity creates an internal climate of high behavioral control. For example, Seattle-based Nordstrom has developed one of the strongest service cultures in the retailing industry. Nordstrom employees know in no uncertain terms what is expected of them, and these expectations go a long way in shaping their behavior.
One specific result of a strong culture should be lower employee turnover. A strong culture demonstrates high agreement among members about what the organization stands for. Such unanimity of purpose builds cohesiveness, loyalty, and organizational commitment. These qualities, in return, lessen employee's propensity to leave the organization.
In a study of 230 organizations from different industries around the world, and from regions including Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and Africa, having a strong and positive organizational culture was associated with increased organizational effectiveness. The study, published in the journal Organizational Dynamics, found that the strong and positive aspects of organizational culture most critical to success across regions generally included:
- Empowering employees
- Having a team orientation
- Having a clear strategic direction and intent
- Possessing a strong and recognizable vision
Though there were similarities when comparing regions in terms of organizational culture and effectiveness, there were some differences when researchers compared individual countries. Yet, overall, the study confirms that having a strong productive organizational culture is associated with increased sales growth, profitability, employee satisfaction, and overall organizational performance regardless of where the organization is physically located.2
2Stephen P.Robbins. Timothy A Judge.2008.Organizational Behavior. New Jersey. Pearson Prentice Hall
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