Successful organizations care about maintaining and improving their organizational culture. Strong organizational culture means company has some customs, values, unwritten rules and basically a specific way of doing things, that all employees respect and believe in. All that helps them work better, increases their motivation, productivity, loyalty and pulls them to work better for achieving organization goals which they identify as their own.
Opposite of strong is weak organizational culture, and it has a negative impact on employees motivation, productivity and overall organization success. When I started working at Inchoo HQ, it was obvious that a growing business as it is, has it’s own specific marks and customs that design its culture. Although you can determine and analyze a lot of levels that make some organization’s culture and measure its strength from many different aspects, here are a few characteristics that I saw as creators of organizational culture at Inchoo.
Every business chooses its home color. But you need to ask yourself is it really representing your work and everyone involved in it? Well, Inchoo actually is green. Green means a desire to be safe but it also means growth. Green is calm but powerful, energetic but balanced. Everyone is very specific and different, but together in some particular way – they are developing and pursuing ideas to grow, while constantly finding a new common balance. Green is of course all around company interior.
Developers drink a lot of coffee – that’s something everyone knows. It’s once said that behind every successful man or woman is a substantial amount of coffee. It might be true, but at Inchoo when you go for (another) cup of coffee, you are reaching for a dose of energy, thinking through what you’re working on, or increasing an idea flow with your colleagues. It’s not just the coffee as a drink, it’s coffee as a common habit that brings working level up.
3. Breaks and free time
How do you spend that 15 minutes, or 30 when you have a break from your work? It’s a good culture when you do something relaxing, but what’s making you more close as colleagues and what will have a good impact on your work. Inchooers usually go to near by coffee place, each having its own sort of break-drink Most of the time, it is the time voluntarily invested in something related to work.
4. Knowledge Sharing
This is something most companies fear – sharing what you know with others, even customers. But if you really care about quality and delivering your promises to your customers, you have nothing to be afraid of, but to be happy if you serve your customers and public by sharing what you’ve learned. Knowledge sharing is as effective to your customers, as it brings back a great feedback to you and your organization reputation and perspective. The most important way of knowledge sharing in Inchoo is of course via our blog.
5. Inchooers as comic characters
Inchooers have their own comic characters. Well, not all of them since there are some brand new faces on the team, but that is something very original, specific and unique that differs Inchooers and empowers their identity. You can see Inchooers’ characters all over the blog, Facebook fan page and on a lot of other material in the firm.
6. Jokes and fun stuff
Do you encourage laughing and making jokes on team meetings? Well you should, since it’s important for organizational culture to have their internal stuff going on and talking about. You don’t want your employees be that strict and making barriers to their creativity. What you want is a good atmosphere that brings lightning in dealing with projects, customers, problems and decision making. At Inchoo you can see just that.
7. Team Building
Do you do team building and why you do it? Because it’s trendy, you heard it’s a good practice or do you actually see the benefits of team activities within your organization? Can you, as employee or team leader make an atmosphere that almost every coffee break or pizza in the office brings team together? And do you plan team building as something with purpose that people want to be a part of? Inchoo has its Inchoo Learning Days to have fun and share knowledge. Along with that, if you are a good team leader you might be able to help creating a good atmosphere so every coffee break, pizza or burek in the office does a bit of team empowering.
This is an important, if not a crucial part of organizational culture. What do you and your employees rely on when problems come, when people change and industries face crisis? Value system comes from a leader but it needs to be spread throughout your company so you can survive, grow and make better everyday decisions. Projects come and go, but values keep all factors of your business together. Inchoo started to work on a project that brings other IT companies from Osijek area together, focused on delivering values to entire community (Osijek Software City). You see, values are what your company relies on: it means getting back to its fundamental reasons of existence and it will make sure it actually does a good job through a longer period of time.
Do you think about improving your organizational culture so your work quality and productivity increases? How do you do that?