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Impact of Company Culture on Employees and Customers and on the Success of the Organization on a Global Scale

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Behaviour observations were made at a multinational speciality retailer which sells products in the premium sector. I work here on a casual basis and made observations during shifts and in my spare time. Being an upmarket and speciality store, employees must have in-depth knowledge about products and provide excellent customer service. These high demands can put stress on employees, so it is essential to have a strong, positive company culture. During my observations, I observed how our company’s culture acts as a foundation to determine the success of our business. Leaders and managers in store contribute to the culture of the company which influences the motivation of employees to perform, resulting in increased sales and satisfied customers. I observed that the behaviour of leaders impacted on how my colleagues and I viewed the company’s ethical values and how motivated we were to perform. Because I observed this behaviour over several weeks, I could compare how positive and negative behaviour impacted on the company’s success and its culture.

Application to OB Content:

Organisational behaviour includes individual behaviour and group dynamics in a company. In our business, we tend to work independently but toward the same purpose which is to make our customers feel valued and satisfied with their purchases. Ultimately, we aim to increase sales for the company as it is multinational cooperation but within our store, we see the main goal as customer satisfaction. To achieve this, our store has created a culture where employees feel valued, respected and motivated. Happy employees generally achieve higher performance and greater sales which benefits the company, employees and customers. These observations were taken at an individual, group and organisational level as I observed how the individual behaviour of leaders influences group behaviour of employees and the whole culture of the organisation.

To understand the behaviour observed, I applied the concepts of company culture, leadership and ethics. Organisational culture consists of shared values and assumptions. In strong cultures, these shared qualities facilitate performance as they involve goal alignment, create motivation and offer control. Underlying assumptions are unconscious perceptions of behaviour that influence how we think and act, whereas shared values are conscious beliefs that employees have in common. Company values that define our culture are customer first, teamwork, passion and commitment. Artefacts are observable symbols that represent culture and can include stories and legends, language, rituals and ceremonies, and physical structures and symbols. Our company culture adopts rituals and symbols. A ritual our company enforces is the relationship between top management and staff. The store manager makes it a priority to visit staff daily and make appropriate adjustments or suggestions. This ritual reflects our underlying values and assumptions to maintain a positive culture. Employees are encouraged to speak up without fear of reprisal which helps employees gain confidence in sharing ideas. If managers did not allow open communication, we would feel disrespected and unimportant in the company. A newly employed colleague commented that she feels a sense of accomplishment and respect at work. She recognised that this differed from previous jobs as it can be challenging in a retail environment to retain a positive culture. With this knowledge, I observed that she showed the greatest performance and satisfaction when our manager showed public recognition of her efforts and encouragement through training. Following this recognition, the employee put greater effort into customer service and appeared to be more positive and take initiative. An observable symbol that defines our company culture is dress code. We aim to dress professionally and keep up to date with trends. We do not have a uniform which represents diversity and individuality (Wood, J. et al., 2016). Other physical artefacts such as furniture and minimal colour palette further reflect our professional and organised culture. This element of culture helps employees develop a sense of identity and gain a clear vision of the organization’s direction. It also encourages commitment to the company’s sense of mission, making it easier to work effectively on organisational goals. This vision presents a clear image to our target market which offers competitive advantage through building loyalty and commitment (Shajahan, S., & Shajahan, L., 2000).

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Leadership involves influencing, motivating and enabling others to contribute towards an organisation’s success. Our business owner is both a strong leader and manager as she establishes direction for staff, gains commitment to this direction and motivates us to achieve the direction’s outcome (Aswathappa, 2009). Actions of top management impact company culture as they establish expectations. These are presented through culture which acts as a control mechanism that guides employees’ attitudes and behaviour (Nair, S., 2009). Our manager leads through effective communication, intrinsic rewards and maintaining company culture so employees have positive values to fall back on (Robbins, S. & Judge, T., 2015). Leader personality can be people and task-oriented and although our manager shows aspects of both styles, she grounds herself on a people-oriented approach. I observed that she shows employees mutual respect and trust, allowing employees the freedom to make certain decisions without consulting her first. When an employee informed our manager that she made a stock order as she predicted there would be high sales due to an upcoming event, our manager praised this behaviour as it showed initiative and forward-thinking. This responsibility and mutual trust motivate employees to reach peak performance. She also expresses concern for employees if she notices we are not performing to our usual standard. A colleague recently experienced a break-up and was struggling to give her full attention to customers, which our manager noticed. Procedures were put in place to assist this employee to ensure that her mental health and performance were supported. These observations are supported by the path-goal theory. In this theory, a leader adjusts their style to best fit a specific situation, while still achieving desired results and satisfaction (McShane, S., et al., 2016). These styles are directive, supportive, participative and achievement-oriented. Our manager adjusts her leadership style accordingly but being people-oriented, she tends to take a social approach. When an employee made the last-minute stock order, our manager used achievement-orientated leadership. This encouraged the employee’s behaviour, allowing her to reach peak performance by furthering her authority, possibly leading to a promotion. Our manager identifies small actions that show her an employee has potential and will set challenging goals and sales targets for them to improve performance. This confidence in employees motivates them to perform and meet their set goals. However, when an employee showed distress at work, our manager addressed this by using supportive leadership. Her friendly approach and appropriate suggestions to help resolve the issue made the employee feel respected and less stressed. By using a variety of styles, this creates a positive and encouraging workplace where employees feel respected and motivated.

Our leader emphasizes ethical behaviour, resulting in employee satisfaction, increasing productivity and reducing turnover, and attracts customers and employees. In our company, employees value top management’s commitment to assuring work-life balance and diversity in sustaining a positive, ethical culture in a high-stress environment. A colleague mentioned that although the work is demanding, we have fun doing it through the involvement of management. To sustain our company’s ethical culture, our manager acts as a role model for appropriate behaviour and communicates ethical expectations through training and a code of ethics that states values employees must follow. I observed that our manager introduced a feedback system where employees could anonymously discuss ethical dilemmas and identify areas in the business which they felt needed reviewed or improved. This open communication made employees feel empowered and respected, strengthening the company culture. It showed me that the behaviour of leaders is important to set a positive example to workers and shows how they are expected to act in a company. Behaviour within an organisation tends to determine the outcome of a situation whether it involves customers or co-workers. Ethical standards that a leader establishes sustain culture and can influence a company’s success. A company with low ethical procedures can be negatively viewed in the media, resulting in consequences such as loss of customers and reduced profitability (Robbins, S. & Judge, T., 2015). Our largest competitor at the time did not practise ethical procedures and received negative media publicity. Media reported that they had discriminated and harassed certain groups of employees. Because these values didn’t align with customers, they lost significant sales and had to close due to backlash and debt. In contrast, our culture is strong and supports high ethical standards which has a positive influence on employee behaviour and we can minimise ethical issues through open communication and maintaining culture.

These observations highlighted the influence managers have on an organisation’s culture and how this impacts employees and the success of a business. I observed that internally, our company culture affects employees and customers but externally it influences the success of the organisation on a global scale as well as the impact competitors have on us. As customers, suppliers and competitors interact with our company and employees, they understand our core values and ethics and how these form the foundations of our strong culture. This has resulted in positive outcomes for our company such as contented employees and customers and increased profitability.

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Impact of Company Culture on Employees and Customers and on the Success of the Organization on a Global Scale. (2022, September 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 2, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-company-culture-on-employees-and-customers-and-on-the-success-of-the-organization-on-a-global-scale/
“Impact of Company Culture on Employees and Customers and on the Success of the Organization on a Global Scale.” Edubirdie, 27 Sept. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-company-culture-on-employees-and-customers-and-on-the-success-of-the-organization-on-a-global-scale/
Impact of Company Culture on Employees and Customers and on the Success of the Organization on a Global Scale. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-company-culture-on-employees-and-customers-and-on-the-success-of-the-organization-on-a-global-scale/> [Accessed 2 Feb. 2023].
Impact of Company Culture on Employees and Customers and on the Success of the Organization on a Global Scale [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Sept 27 [cited 2023 Feb 2]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/impact-of-company-culture-on-employees-and-customers-and-on-the-success-of-the-organization-on-a-global-scale/
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