Article (August-2016)


Building a culture of repute

Viresh Mathur

Designation : -   Vice President-HR

Organization : -  BKT Tyres, Mumbai


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BM: How would you define organizational culture (OC)?
VM: Organization culture is a value system which is practiced by all employees of an organization. These values are visible through their action, attitude and behaviour.  Though every organization will have their own written set of guidelines that they expect their employee to abide by, however it is observed that what employees experience is different from the prescribed policy. OC is an intrinsic value system which has to be willingly, consistently and effortlessly exhibited by each employee, at all levels across the organization.

BM: Do organizations have to consciously take steps to build an OC or does it take shape on its own over a period of time?
VM: Many organizations by design, very consciously define policies, practices and processes in the guise of building the OC. Factually, culture doesn't establishes this way. It involves human relations who look for a work environment of "being cared and valued", which results into a heavy dependence on emotion and sentiment of each member of the organization. The interplay of these two factors builds an OC over a period of time. 

BM: What impacts the organization culture? 
VM :
The leadership styles of the decision makers impact the OC. How the line managers decide to adapt to makes a big impact. Based on the OCTAPAC model, leadership styles can be handled to build a positive and motivating work culture irrespective of the impact of the leadership styles. This is one of the most crucial factors which provide long-term stability to the organization and its success. How managers verbally communicate is another critical factor in creating the OC. Managers have to "walk their talk" or they would stand to lose the respect of their colleagues, peers and subordinates. 

BM: How does OC affect employee morale and behaviour? What role does OC play in shaping employee behaviour?
Employee morale is guided by the time tested tools of motivation. While needs may vary according to different levels, behaviour is a natural consequence of the motivation meter. The current day Generation Y and Z look for fun in their jobs followed by an attractive compensation structure. They also look for a charismatic and selfless mentor (Boss) who would teach them and lead them towards a long-term career path. The other category of employees would look for stability, respect and self-actualization of needs. Broadly, the composite behaviour of these two groups of employees would characterize the culture of the organization.

BM: Tell us something about the organization culture at BKT Tyres. 
The OC in my organization is motivating and promotes immense creativity and innovation. Employees are empowered and engaged and believe that this is the place where they would like to give their best performance. The leadership style of the decision makers is collaborative and based on team work. The senior management is conscious of the fact that irrespective of the JD/ KRAs, the decision makers have to exhibit consistently acceptable behaviour as enshrined in the unwritten culture policy of the company.

BM:  What is the difference between organization culture and organization climate?
Organizational culture creates the climate. While climate is a phenomenon which is apparent in a work environment and culture signifies the good intent of each member of the organization while at work. Culture is created with heartfelt feelings whereas climate is more materialistic in nature, emerging out of the individual roles and responsibilities in the organization.

BM:  What should be the components of an excellent organization culture?
In my opinion, an excellent organization culture should be an amalgamation of all these factors. It should have an open and fearless work culture, a participative and appreciative work environment, multiple opportunities to independently deal with" live" issues, company support at personal front whenever needed, equitable and fair reward system, clarity and transparency in the decision making process, team work and mutual functional appreciation, flexible work hours, market driven compensation structures, clear career path and growth opportunities and congruence of personal aspirations and organizational mission.