How Your Behavior Affects Organizational Culture and May Impact Your Company’s Strategic Objectives
Have you put much thought into how you conduct yourself while on the job? Your actions will have a direct impact on your fellow employees, which in turn can affect the organizational culture. For example, if you treat everyone around you with courtesy and respect, you’re contributing to a healthier, happier work environment.
On the other hand, if you mistreat your coworkers or engage in activities such as backstabbing and gossiping, you’re helping to foster a negative environment where trust, collaboration and cooperation are in short supply.
Furthermore, your behavior can affect your organization’s ability to reach its strategic objectives, which are the long-term goals that it hopes to achieve. If your actions are contributing to the development of a positive culture, your organization stands a much better chance of reaching its goals. Conversely, a work environment filled with rampant mistrust and destructive behavior makes it difficult, if not impossible, to get anything done.
Examples of How Your Behavior Can Impact Strategic Objectives
Let’s take a look at how some specific strategic objectives and how your behavior can affect them:
- Increasing customer satisfaction: Customers often develop their perception of an organization based on their interactions with its employees. If you’re contributing to a hostile or dysfunctional work environment, you’re also negatively affecting the attitude of your coworkers. Customers are bound to pick up on this, which means they’ll be less enthusiastic about doing business with your company.
- Promoting ongoing learning: Most organizations understand the value of providing training and educational opportunities for their employees. Continuous learning makes workers better at their jobs and helps to reduce turnover. If you’re continually downplaying the importance of training to your coworkers or treating it as a waste of time, you’re discouraging them from taking these programs seriously, and the organization as a whole will suffer.
- Improving quality: Whether your company manufactures and sells products or provides services, delivering superior quality is essential to remain competitive. If you place a low priority on the quality of your work, you’re helping to foster a culture where doing just enough to get by is acceptable behavior. These days, organizations that strive for mediocrity instead of excellence quickly fall by the wayside.
- Reducing expenses: Nearly every organization is looking for ways to lower costs. Wasteful behavior, whether it involves time theft, the careless use of resources or excessive spending, is often contagious – it’s only a matter of time before it infiltrates the entire culture and makes it more challenging to achieve a healthy bottom line.
How to Self-Monitor Your Behavior at Work
While you can’t always control what your coworkers say or do, you can monitor your own behavior – and set a better example in the process. Some steps you can take to contribute to a healthier, more productive organizational culture include:
- Avoid gossip: It’s tempting to “dish” on other employees behind their back, especially when you’re part of a group that’s doing the same. But gossiping is one of the most destructive workplace behaviors – it erodes trust, lowers morale and inhibits collaboration and teamwork, all of which can prevent the organization from reaching its goals.
- Be respectful: You don’t always have to agree with everything your fellow employees do or say. However, this doesn’t mean you should disrespect them. Belittling your coworkers creates a negative environment that makes collaboration much more difficult and may place your organization’s strategic objectives out of reach.
- Stop wasting time: Time is the most valuable commodity for any worker. Making the most of every minute in the workday will increase your productivity and set a positive example for everyone around you.
- Don’t be a bully: Harassing or attempting to intimidate other employees creates a toxic work environment that affects everyone – not just the target of the bully. Bullying doesn’t just involve making threatening or offensive comments. It can also include actions such as withholding essential information from a coworker or subordinate, undermining the ability of workers to perform their job functions and excluding or isolating an employee socially.
- Stop complaining: Constant whining is another detrimental behavior that can spread quickly throughout an organization and ultimately erode the workplace culture. Rather than complaining about something you don’t believe is right, do something to correct or improve the situation. You’ll be making life better for you and your coworkers. Moreover, by helping to turn a negative into a positive, you’ll be helping the organization to achieve its strategic objectives.