Nine characteristics for a healthy business culture

Deal and Kennedy (1982) defined organisational culture as the way things get done around here. Culture includes the organisation’s vision, values, norms, systems, symbols, language, assumptions, beliefs, and habits. Organisational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders.

The benefits from developing a strong and productive culture:

  • Better alignment of the company for achieving its vision, mission, and goals.
  • Higher employee motivation and loyalty.
  • Increased team cohesiveness.
  • Promoting consistency and encouraging coordination.
  • Shaping employee behaviour at work and enabling the organisation to be more efficient.

The nine characteristics of a healthy culture are:

  1. Acceptance and appreciation for diversity.
  2. Regard for and fair treatment of each employee.
  3. Employee pride and enthusiasm for the organisation and the work performed.
  4. Equal opportunity for each employee to realise their full potential.
  5. Strong communication with all employees regarding policies and company issues.
  6. Strong company leaders with a strong sense of direction and purpose.
  7. Ability to compete in industry innovation and customer service.
  8. Lower than average turnover rates (perpetuated by a healthy culture).
  9. Investment in learning, training, and employee knowledge.

Businesses need to ensure the nine characteristics of a healthy culture are implemented in their business as the financial costs of poor culture are very expensive (and can directly lead to a business failing).


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