Organizational culture is the overarching set of beliefs and values that drive employee behaviours while moving companies toward their goals – or against them if culture and policies aren’t in harmony.

Creating a corporate culture that aligns well with business strategies and needs is an ongoing process. Even high performing companies have some strategies that are out of line with culture or have cultures that need gradual nudging in a new direction that better fits organizational need.

Aligning the best organizational culture characteristics starts with asking tough questions. Corporate leaders and HR staff must first agree what the culture is, determine if employees believe the culture aligns with what leadership says it is, and then look at policies and strategies in-depth to see if the alignment is present or absent.

organizational culture characteristics

If misalignment is found, plans should be put into place to close the gaps and help ensure that leadership’s definition of the culture is how it is truly perceived by employees.

Leaders are responsible for defining the direction of the organization and its vision. It’s their role to reinforce and model behaviours that drive the vision.

HR’s role is to determine what employees think and to help leadership integrate business strategy with talent management and rewards programs to foster shifts that better enable companies to reach alignment while striving for the attainment of performance goals.