Having worked for several years in various international companies, I have experienced many different types of company cultures.
If you zoom in on the culture of a company you will see that dominant company cultural factors are often present in the different parts of the organization.
You will also find that cultural differences between the departments within the same organization can sometimes be considerable. From an expressive sales team with a demanding manager to a financial department more focused on creating a predictable environment.
What matters in organizations is the existence or non-existence of shared values from bottom to top. Respect, genuine interest in a team. These determine to a large extend acceptable behaviour and contribute to a constructive company culture
At the beginning of my career, I had the pleasure of leading a team consisting of employees from different (cultural) backgrounds. I was young in my career, and quite quickly advised by a number of senior managers in the company on how to lead my team: keep it simple, clear and strict, and you get the team’s respect.
As stubborn (and Dutch) as I was, I decided to take a slightly different approach. Instead of being very strict, I started to give my team responsibilities and the space to do things their own way. The interesting thing was that after a few weeks I started to notice a different behaviour. The team’s level of commitment and pride had grown .The effect was even greater than I had expected in a positive way and they went a step further without asking.
The culture of a Company is important and should not be underestimated. Getting stuck in stereotypes and traditional views don’t help. Instead understanding the cultural differences between people and teams and treating people with respect, dignity is a good start for any constructive corporate culture. In multicultural companies, setting the standard and expectation even more important. This helps avoiding stepping into the trap of treating people in diverse teams differently.
We at HRhelp.nl have a lot of insight working in different companies and we understand the challenge of creating this cohesive company culture, and the importance of setting a good example not only in behaviour but also in your policies and procedures. Feel free to contact us via www.hrhelp.nl