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In any organization it is the desire for employees to be given favourable working conditions in order to deliver their best in order to ensure rapid growth and development of the organization. The challenge however faces the junior personnel who need to put in extra effort in order to impress their bosses and at the same time be able to go up the Maslow hierarchy of needs which are; physiological needs, safety needs, belongingness and love needs, esteem needs and lastly self actualization needs. Achieving all the mentioned needs is not a walk in the park because of the difficult working conditions that most employees are subjected to; this mainly is because of the leadership style and the organizational culture that the management has rolled out. For instance in an organization where the management has adapted to the tyrannical leadership style, then there is little chance for junior employees to go up the promotion ladder since they do not have any power to challenge the decision made by the managers. The case is however different in those organization that have adapted to the democratic leadership style since it gives employees more room to participate in the decision making process and this gives them a chance to advance in their careers.
According to Ashraf, organizational culture is the concept used in the study of the organization's cultural values, beliefs, employee's experiences, attitude and also psychology status of the organization (Ashraf, 2010). It is important to note that each and every organization had has well structured organizational structure has its own unique organizational cultures that determine the performance of individual employees as well as the general performance of the organization. The purpose of this research proposal will be to discuss the effects of the organizational culture on the performance of the employees; this will cover both the negative and positive effects of the organizational culture. To understand these effects, the paper will first discuss the different types of organizational cultures that are adapted in most organizations and their characteristics. The next step will then be to discuss how each of the discussed cultures affects the employee's performance positively and negatively. The paper will then give recommendation on ways that can be used by organization to ensure that the organizational culture has little or no negative effects on the employee performance. It will also give ways in which the organization can motivate its demoralized staff to ensure that they give the best performance. This research proposal will then close by giving a summary of the key points that were discussed in the course of study.
Types of Organizational Culture
There are different types of organizational cultures that are practiced by most organizations; however these cultures depend on the organizational structures laid down by the management. According to Pradnya, some of the most common organizational structures are; work hard/play hard structure, club structure, pragmatic structure, academy structure, normative structure among others (Pradnya, 2009). MCS states that organizational cultures are divided into three main groups and each of them depends on one of the organizational structure mentioned above (MCS, 2010).
Strong Vs Weak Culture: In order for an organization to determine whether its culture is strong or weak depends on how the organization's core values have been spread out in the organization. If the organizations values and resources are equitably distributed, then it can be said that the organization has a strong culture; whereas when the values are not equal in the organization then it has a weak culture. One of the things that can influence such kind of culture is the leadership style that has been rolled out in the organization (MCS 2010). Soft Vs Hard Culture: This culture focuses more on the employee rather than the organization. Soft culture is where the employee opts to several personal objectives that are aimed at solving personal issues and also those issues that affect the sections they are stationed. This is in contrast to the hard culture where the employees yield to external pressure in order to accomplish a certain task; it is however important to note that most companies have posted poor results because of the hard culture (MCS 2010). Formal Vs Informal Culture: The last category in which organizational culture is divided into is the formal Vs informal culture; the formal culture of an organization depends on the organization's structure, rules and regulations and individual responsibilities. The main components of a formal culture include the organizations vision/mission, policies, procedures, rules and regulations and finally the state of the organization's development. Whereas the informal culture has well laid down policies most of the policies under the informal culture are intangible and there is no specific set of rules to follow (MCS 2010).
Most organizations fall under the above mentioned organizational cultures; however in the modern day business world most organizations are corporate owned (corporate organizations) and as a result they have their own culture known as the corporate culture. According to Carmazzi, the corporate organizational culture is a dynamic culture and they evolve with time. One of the things that have greatly influenced the evolution of the corporate culture is the rapid growth and development of the information and communication technologies of many nations around the world. The five main corporate cultures are;
The Blame Corporate Culture: This is the worst culture in any organization since each and every employee is held responsible for his/her actions; as a result it creates fear and distrust among the employees. It is then followed by the Multi-directional Corporate Culture: This is another culture that is not organizational friendly since it limits corporation between various departments in the organization. This means that each there is departmental power struggle as each department tries to out muscle each other and be the best in the organization. The third culture is the Live and let live Corporate Culture: This type of culture is where there is no motivation and morale among the employees and most of them work not because they have passion for their work but because they need money to help them offset their bills. Brand congruent Corporate Culture is the fourth. Under this, there is collectively responsibility and morale among the employees since they have goals and objectives concerning the company image that they need to achieve. The last of the five is the Leadership enriched Corporate Culture: This is the top most culture in most organization and it can be equated to esteem or self actualization needs under the Maslow hierarchy of needs. Under this, employees feel they are part and parcel of the organization since their efforts are appreciated and there is corporation in all the departments. Most employees have job satisfaction and they live like one big family (Carmazzi).
Effects of Organizational Culture on Employee Performance
As indicated in the first part of this research paper, there are two effects that the organizational culture has on the performance of the employees; negative and positive effects. It is however important to understand the main functions of the organizations culture before we can under its negative and positive effects. The three main functions of the organizational cultures are they help in behavioral control of the organization's employees both senior and junior employees, they encourage internal organization stability and finally they act as a source of organization's identity. It is vital to note that the internal organizations stability will play a great role in determining how the organization performs on the international market.
Positive Effects of Organization's Culture on Employee Performance
It has been observed that any organization that has successfully designed and implemented a good organizational culture stand to have an increase in the productivity and performance departments of the organization. There are also chances that the employees will be more confident, committed and the ethical behavior in the organization will improve. The main effect of the organizational culture is that it helps in the Internalization Process: According to Feldman all employees once hired by a firm must be taken through the orientation process where they are taken around the organization's departments to make them have a feel of the company. These employs are enlightened on activities that take place in each department and who are the managers of these respective departments (Feldman, p 433-452). This therefore means that any organization that has well laid down structures and organizations culture then the implementation of the internalization process smooth and all the employees that are recruited are well incorporated into the company's system. The end result of this is that once the employs are aware of the organizations rules and regulations then they will adhere to them and therefore ensure that they meet all the standards. Those who adhere to the company's rules and regulation stand to motivational rewards and climb up the Maslow hierarchy of needs. The internalization process is long dynamic process that has other processes in it and as the organization expands the internalization process becomes more complex.
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In addition to that any organization, be it a profitable or non profitable organization has its plan of action and what it expects to achieve by the end of each financial year. For those organizations that have no well laid down structures they might find it hard to accomplish this; however according to Ancona & Caldwell and Keller the process of accurate collection of information about the organizations development greatly depends on the performance and effectiveness of its personnel (Ancona & Caldwell, 1992). This means that organizations that have effective organizations culture stand to benefit since their employees are well motivated to participate in the process of determining the organizations' expectations. The main reason as to why people get employed is to be able fulfill their various social, economical and psychological needs. This however is not easy to achieve especially for those employees who work in organizations that have no stable organizational culture. According to Wyer and Srull, positive organizations' culture provides a perfect platform for employees to be able to be beneficiaries to these rewards (Wyer and Scrull, p 322-359). The role of leadership in the organization and how it affects the performance of the employees of the in organization cannot be underestimated, this is because most of the leadership styles that organizations have adapted have been integrated into the organization's culture and in most cases the leadership style determines the organizational culture of an organization.
The Negative Effects of Organizational Culture on Employee Performance
According to Leadership Expert, there are some leadership styles that have more of a negative impact on the organizational culture and employee performance as compare to the positive effects (Leadership Expert, 2010). Autocratic and bureaucratic are perfect examples of such leadership styles. One of the characteristics of the autocratic and bureaucratic leadership style is that most of the decisions are made by one person; the manager who has total control over of the organization. In these leadership styles the manager does not consult with his/her juniors when it comes to decision making process, this means that any word uttered by the manager becomes a law and no one has the authority to question. The question therefore that most people ask is how does this affect the organizational culture and employees performance?
As indicated at the beginning of this paper, organizational culture is the concept used in the study of the organization's cultural values, beliefs, employee's experiences, attitude and psychology status of the organization and its employees. This means that the organizational culture is greatly influenced by the leadership style used; therefore in an organization where the manager is the sole decision maker he/she has crafted an organizational culture that must be adhered to at all time by all employees and this in most cases demoralizes the employees since they cannot fully participate in the decision making process. For instance the manager might decide that any employee who reports late to work will have part of his/her remuneration deducted or more worse for the female employees where the manager might decide that if a female employee get pregnant she loses her position in the organization.
Another way that this leadership styles can negatively contribute to the employee's performance in an organization is when it comes to implementation of new ideas. An organization that has an autocratic or bureaucratic organizational culture has little or no room for junior employees to come up with unique ideas that they might be having, this is because the manager and other senior personnel might feel challenged and intimidated hence they rarely allow junior employees to come up with suggestions that might be useful to the growth and expansion of the company. According to Minds Tools (2010), the communication process in most organizations is one that has five different stages; there is the source (sender), message encoding, channels of communication, message decoding and finally the receiver. One limitation of this process is that there is a great chance that the message can be distorted as it is being passed from one person to the other especially during the channel of communication stage. What does the communication process has to do with the organizational culture and the negative performance of employees? This brings us back to the impact that the leadership style has on the organizational culture and employee performance.
In the democratic leadership style, all the employees irrespective of their position can have direct access to the manager if they have a point they wish to share, this means that the message is less likely to be distorted or misinterpreted; however the case is not the same in an organization where its organizational culture has taken on the autocratic or bureaucratic approach. In this setting, the message has to be passed from one secretary to the other and by the time it reaches its designated source, there is a possibility it might be misinterpreted; therefore if the message is doctored then the response that will be received will definitely be negative and it will most likely demoralize the employee.
After having looked at both the negative and positive effects of organizational culture on the performance of the employees, it is important for the research paper to look at some of the recommendations if adapted they can change the culture in an organization whose previous culture has had a negative effective on the performance of the employees. The importance of this is that by changing an organizations culture then the company has a great chance of recording profits and providing a perfect platform for employees to go up the Maslow hierarchy of needs until the self actualization stage.
How to Improve Organizational Culture
According to Adkins and Stewart, the organizational culture determines the employee performance and it is for this reason that it is recommended that an organization should change those negative organizational factors that slow down the performance of the employees (Adkins and Stewart, 1999). In addition to that they have observed that there are four main cultural traits that if implemented then an organization stands to grow at a faster rate and they are; involvement, consistency, mission and adaptability. Just like the SWOT analysis, these traits are either internal or external cultural traits. The mission is the first internal cultural trait and it helps the employees be aware of what are their objectives in the organization and also what they hope to achieve. The mission is backed up the involvement which is also an internal cultural. It covers the capability development and team orientation of the employees. The last internal cultural trait is the consistency. This addresses how the organization internal systems are reliable in the accomplishing of the organization tasks and assignments. The three internal cultural traits however need the backing of external traits and this is where adaptability comes into focus. This cultural trait focuses on how the organization relates to the external environment and other competitors in the market (Adkins and Stewart, 1999).
As mentioned in the paper, one of the factors that contribute to the demoralization of employees in an organization is the poor communications skills that are used, according to Bold there are three simple steps that an organization can adapt to in order to improve the communication channels (Bold, 1999). The first step that can be used to curb this vice is by introducing the open-door policy, this is where aggrieved junior employees can freely talk to their managers or supervisors without necessarily having to go through the company secretary. The issue of training employees in an organization about the best communication skills should not be brushed aside; the human resource department of the organization should ensure that it organized training for its personnel especially new recruits on the best communication approach they can use in conveying messages across. The last thing is to set expectations. The human resource manager should set expectations on what he/she expects from the employees when it comes to communication. This however depends on whether the company is willing to change it leadership style and settle for an all inclusive leadership style (Bold, 1999).
In any organization the employees are the backbone of the company and if they are demoralized they may be tempted to walk away, this may be dangerous to any organization that has a vision of making a statement in the industry, it is therefore important for the management to come up with the best strategy of retaining employees and more focus should be on skilled employees.
Ways of Motivating and Encouraging Employees in an Organization
Although it is not an easy mission to accomplish, it is the only way to ensure that the productivity of the company remains high and this in return will bring profits to the company as well as employee satisfaction.
Communication: As a motivation strategy, the employer through the human resource manager should constantly engage the employees in relevant communication and enquire if they are comfortable with their work and if there is anything that they need in order to perform better (Hiam 2010). Eliminate use of threat: In most organizations, senior personnel tend to use force or "threat" in pretence of motivating their employees. They do this by pushing the employees to beat the non existing deadlines or accomplish difficult task within a limited time frame. As a manager use of this method will make the employee feel appreciated and will give the best they can. (Bruce & Petitone 1998) Space: Quality work or service delivery require total concentration, therefore as a manager once you have allocated a task to your employee, sit back, give them space and time and let them concentrate and give the best output they can. Distractions may confuse the employee in his line of duty (Hiam 2010).
SWOT analysis: Hiam (2010) further suggests that, employers should conduct a SWOT analysis for each and every employee in your organization however; the focus should be more on their strengths and what they can offer to the company. Try and help them overcome their weaknesses and eliminate all the threats that may hinder their productivity and moral. In so doing, you are assured of excellent performance. Employee Scoreboard: Apart from the performance contract that the employees are supposed to sign and fulfill, the employer should encourage the employees to have their personal scoreboard which they can use for self evaluation. The scoreboard will help the employee know whether their performance graph is on a steady increase or vice versa (Hiam 2010).
Rewards: Monetary motivation is not the only way to motivate an employee and prevent him / her from searching for "greener pastures". Use different ways of motivating them like an extra day off and also ensure that they are aware of the reward scheme of the organization. This will make them work extra hard and strive to achieve the best reward. In conclusion despite the fact that the motivation may be present in an organization but there may be lack of morale which is equally dangerous. As an employer, always ensure that the morale of your skilled employees is always high.
It is however important to note that achieving all the above discussed factors is not easy unless the organizations management and personnel are willing to change their attitude towards administration and adapt to a culture that gives employees breathing space. In addition respect in the organization should not be from the junior personnel towards their seniors alone but vice versa also, it is only if there is two way respect that any organization can boost of having a good working environment.
Summation of the Research Paper
Each and every organization is identified by its culture and for those organizations that have no distinct organizational culture then they are considered to be informal organization. The purpose of this research paper was to address the effects of the organizational culture on the employee performance. In the first section of this paper, it has difined the meaning of the term organizational culture and given the different organizational structures that most organizational cultures are built around. The paper has then mentioned the three main functions of the organizational cultures and thereafter it has discussed the three segments in which most organizational culture fall under.
The rapid growth of the information and communication technologies industries as well as industrialization as changed the way most organizations conduct their businesses; this is by coming up with well structure and efficient organizations known as corporate organizations. The paper has discussed the various cultures that are used by corporate organizations in the implementation of the duties and activities. It has then focused on the main purpose of the paper; critical discussion of the positive effects as well as the negative effects of organizational culture on the performance of the employees. under the negative effects, the paper has looked at how bad leadership style and communication can make an organization have a bad negative organizational culture. In the subsequent parts, the paper has focused on giving recommendation on the best approach that organizations can use to ensure that its culture has no negative effects on the organizations performance. It has then looked at how employees can be motivated to ensure that they remain productive even if the organizations culture is unfavourable to them.