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Home>Discover VersaTables> By Use > Office > Organizational Culture: Asset or Liability?

Organizational Culture: Asset or Liability?


How do your employees feel about your corporation? Are they satisfied in their duties and their workspace? Or do you experience a high turnover rate?

We often hear that companies must take measure to establish an organizational culture. The term “organizational culture” refers to system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations. And the type of organizational culture your institution creates can either serve as a major asset to your company, or as a serious liability.

Of course, how employees work is a big part of the way they perceive where they work. Taking measures to make your work environment ergonomic, supportive, professional and welcoming will help your organization build a positive culture, netting your institution greater employee performance and productivity.

The Essence of Organizational Culture

In broad terms, organizational culture is concerned with how employees perceive seven particular characteristics. These perceptions directly influence whether or not employees feel a deep sense of satisfaction. The deeper this sense of satisfaction, the more it impacts the level of personal productivity and loyalty that each employee experiences.

The seven characteristics that compose an organization’s culture:

  • Innovation and Risk Taking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Outcome Orientation
  • People Orientation
  • Team Orientation
  • Aggressiveness
  • Stability

Henry Mintzberg, university professor and an expert in the field of organizational management, has described the importance of organizational culture:

“Culture is the soul of the organization—the beliefs and values, and how they are manifested. I think of the structure as the skeleton, and as the flesh and blood. And culture is the soul that holds the thing together and gives it life force.”

Organizational Culture’s Tie To Success

Indeed, many studies show that firms with stronger, cohesive cultures tend to achieve higher performance.

Consider the results of a study performed by John E. Sheridan of the University of Alabama at Birmingham published in The Academy of Management Journal:

“This study investigated the retention rates of 904 college graduates hired in six public accounting firms over a six-year period. Organizational culture values varied significantly among the firms. The variation in cultural values had a significant effect on the rates at which the newly hired employees voluntarily terminated employment. The relationship between the employees’ job performance and their retention also varied significantly with organizational culture values. The cultural effects were stronger than the combined exogenous influences of the labor market and the new employees’ demographic characteristics. The cultural effect are estimated to have resulted in over six million dollars’ difference in human resource costs between firms with different cultural values.”

OrganizationalCultureEmployeeValueDoes Your Organizational Culture Value Employees?

Strongly valuing workers is one of leading organizational cultural characteristics that can increase employee productivity and retention. In order to motivate employees to carry out good work it is vital they are provided with the best workspaces, something that is only possible with a comfortable range of office furniture pieces that promote high quality performance.

If an employee has to sit in an uncomfortable chair at a too-low desk every day, not only will they become more likely to suffer back strain or other stress-induced injuries, they will also struggle to maintain a strong sense of workplace morale.

Everybody deserves a good workspace, and the measures management takes to provide this kind of work environment will not go unnoticed by employees, the public or your productivity and profit margins.

Ergonomically Designed Office Furniture Can Lower Your Liability Risk

Most employers are required by law to insure against liability for injury or disease to their employees. While your employees are at work you are responsible for their health and safety. Should your employees suffer an injury while on the job; your employers’ liability insurance will enable you to meet the cost of compensation for such injuries.

Of course, the more injury claims filed against your organization, the higher your liability insurance costs are likely to be.

Employee illnesses and repetitive stress injuries cost your company in other ways too. Consider the following from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • 37% of all work related injuries are caused by poor ergonomic conditions.
  • The average work related injury caused by poor ergonomics easily totals $100,000 in lost time, disability ratings, compensation and potential litigation.
  • Workers who suffer a musculoskeletal disorder lose up to 19 days of work on average.
  • Musculoskeletal disorders are a major national problem—costing the US economy more than $50 billion dollars a year.

Whether you are operating in a healthy or lean economy, you need your employees to stay healthy and productive. An effective ergonomics campaign is a proactive approach to preventing workplace injury. Fewer injuries in your office equal fewer claims. And fewer claims equal lower insurance premiums.

Let Your Organizational Culture Work For You

By investing in quality office equipment and furniture for your employees, and by taking the time to train them about useful ergonomic principles, you can create an organizational culture with a high focus on safety, efficiency, productivity and comfort. Such a culture is certain to pay back big dividends in return.

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