What is organizational climate and why should you care about your company’s atmosphere – WAU
Do you know that feeling that efforts are not recognized and that there are complaints in every corner of the company? This heavy organizational climate is not good for anyone. The good news is that it can be reversed with the commitment of the leaders and the adoption of the right measures.
In addition to having changed Digital Marketing and Content Marketing forever, Google and Facebook are references in promoting the improvement of the organizational climate and influence companies worldwide to adopt more pleasant work environments, leisure alternatives, flexible hours and autonomy in performing tasks.
However, simply painting the walls and buying a pool table is not enough to change an organization’s atmosphere.
In fact, this is one of the worst ways to start improving the work environment, as the decisions made by the leadership may not be in line with the workers’ desires.
As we will see in this post, intangible factors are primarily responsible for a vibrant organizational climate, although physical tools, renovations and restructuring are also important.
Read on and understand more about this essential topic and how to work it right in your company!
What is organizational climate?
In his book Organizational Climate Management, Ricardo Luz, a university professor and specialist in Human Resources, describes the organizational climate as “The psychological atmosphere that involves, at a given moment, the relationship between a company and its employees”.
Although it has gained popularity in recent years with the initiatives promoted by large technology corporations, the subject has been discussed within the administration since 1930 and emerged as a direct consequence of the clear influence of the workers ‘mood on the companies’ performance.
One of the largest studies to prove this analysis was carried out by EAESP-FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas School of Business Administration), which demonstrated, empirically, that between 1997 and 2005 the then elected Best Companies to Work for in London presented results superior to those of average of the 500 largest companies in the country.
These facts reveal a significant change in the management of companies, in which tangible assets, such as machines, inputs and inventories, are no longer solely responsible for the progress of the business, and human capital becomes a key factor for the economy.
Philip Kotler, also known as the father of modern marketing, illustrated this change within the Marketing 3.0 concept, in which companies come to see consumers as real human beings, contemplating their pains, values, ideals and behaviors. This definition also applies to internal marketing.
Based on all this evidence, the proposal for studies and strategies aimed at the organizational climate is promote a more pleasant work environment that favors productivity, innovation and, consequently, the results of an organization.
What are the impacts of a bad organizational climate?
It is clear that a bad organizational climate is capable of directly affecting a company’s profits and also its image in the market.
However, to understand exactly how poorly structured human resources management can affect an enterprise, we need to clarify the main characteristics of the organizational climate. Are they:
- is subjective: although improvements in facilities and sanitary conditions, for example, favor the organizational climate, what really needs to be analyzed is the perception of employees about the company;
- is a complex approach: precisely because of its subjective character, the management of the organizational climate is quite complex and depends on several tangible and intangible factors;
- there is much expectation: employees tend to create high expectations about their roles and careers, involving private and mutual interests;
- affects performance and personal life: the organizational climate not only interferes with the productivity of managers, directors and employees, but is also capable of affecting the quality of life outside the work environment.
We have, then, a set of characteristics and implications related to the internal climate of a company that need to be taken into account in the elaboration of any study or strategy in this sense.
However, the root of an organization’s internal problems is usually found in the relationship between members of the same team, between different areas or departments, and between leaders and their employees.
Consequences of an unfavorable organizational climate
Among the main problems observed in poor or inadequate management of the organizational climate, we can mention:
- drop in overall productivity and worsening quality of care;
- internal and external noises (complaints and negative comments inside and outside the company);
- greater individuality and competitiveness in the tasks performed;
- greater turnover and a consequent increase in expenses with hits, hiring and training;
- talent loss (high-performance professionals who choose to leave the company);
- low motivation, little engagement and misalignment with business objectives;
- frequent delays and absences;
- increase in license applications;
- production losses, refractions and high waste of time and materials;
- little creative expression or innovative proposals.
Once some of these “symptoms” have been identified or a decision has been made to take steps to avoid these problems, the first step is to make a detailed analysis of the company’s atmosphere and understand the employees’ perception of it.
This is done through an organizational climate survey.
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How to do a PCO (Organizational Climate Survey)?
The purpose of research in this category, also called PCO, is to clarify complaints, comments and opinions of all members of the enterprise, to understand the way these people see the company they work for.
However, it is also possible – and recommended – to analyze the behavior of these people and their results.
Therefore, we have two types of organizational research: the analysis of the company’s perception and the analysis of results.
Analysis of company perception
The interesting thing about this initiative is that the research itself can already be considered a measure in favor of a good organizational climate, since employees feel valued when their proposals are heard and considered in decisions.
The point here is to extract your employees’ opinions about the company, and there are several ways to do this, from interviews and paper forms to the use of applications and software.
The ideal, however, is to allow participants to submit their responses individually and, if possible, anonymously.
People tend to distort their opinions for fear of being judged by colleagues and, especially, by superiors.
If you really want to get to know your work team, you need to make sure that he is being absolutely sincere.
The points to be analyzed should be discussed, but need to address issues such as:
- Do you consider this company a good place to work?
- What factors within the organization motivate you to work and which discourage you?
- What is your opinion about the people management practices promoted by the company?
- Do you feel inserted (integrated) in your work team?
- Are you aware of the organization’s mission, vision, values and objectives?
- Are you satisfied with the work performed by the leaders?
- What improvements do you suggest to benefit the organizational climate?
As we are dealing with the company’s internal climate, this Results analysis cannot be restricted to productivity indicators.
We also need to analyze the turnover rate, service complaints, possible conflicts between departments, colleagues and managers, in addition to the company’s reputation on hiring sites.
Interviews with employees who quit can also be valuable in understanding critical points that can motivate departure.
How important is engagement and a good organizational climate?
We talk a lot about the risks of neglecting the organizational climate, but so that there is no doubt about the relevance of motivating and developing your team, we have separated some studies to inspire you even more.
Clarity is essential
In a survey, conducted by Psychometrics, in which employees from various companies were asked what their leaders could do to increase engagement at work, 71% of respondents cited that it was necessary “Clarify expectations at work” and 62% said it was necessary “Listening to the opinions of employees”.
Recognition is a necessity
The recognition attributed to an employee directly affects their willingness to do a good job.
In addition, the survey conducted by Gallup also revealed that the lack of this incentive is cited by 65% of employees who leave their positions.
Promoting recognition favors results
Another survey, conducted by SHRM / Globoforce, also analyzed the impacts of recognition on companies and found that employee recognition initiatives can positively affect business results and also help promote a more humane organizational climate with a strong corporate culture.
Less engagement, more losses
The Global Workforce Study conducted by Towers Watson showed that a lack of employee engagement is capable of generating losses of around 10%.
On the other hand, companies that invest in the organizational climate and the engagement of their employees raise their profits by up to 30%!
How to ensure a good organizational climate?
So far we already understand that the organizational climate can directly interfere in the company’s results, and the first thing to be done to ensure a positive atmosphere in the workplace is to listen and give a voice to everyone.
Finally, we now need to develop ways to promote and maintain this state of harmony and productivity.
Taking inspiration from cases of renowned companies is an excellent exercise to raise ideas, but be careful not to leave by simply copying the methods of others.
Each organization presents its particularities and specific objectives that must be valued and worked on in its strategies.
Improve internal communication
New complaints and claims will emerge, this is natural. Soon, it is essential to ensure that an employee can speak up, even when no research is in progress.
Efficient internal communication must also keep everyone informed about the company’s problems, tasks, strategies and results.
Develop your leaders
Another important conduct is to observe the performance of the leaders of each department. Remember that a good organizational climate also depends on the effective leadership performance, which must also be stimulated and trained for their function.
Create ways to bring people together, especially those from different areas and levels, to create a collaborative work environment.
Be it a happy hour, a general meeting or a corporate event, these experiences help to break barriers and taboos, bring people together and collaborate for general harmony.
Ensure health and well-being
Productivity is essential for business, but for it to happen it is necessary to have willing and active people.
Pleasant, comfortable and hygienic work environments are essential for employees to be able to do their best.
And don’t forget to also offer medical and psychological support to those who may need it.
Focus on who matters most
When working on the climate of a company, it is necessary to ensure that efforts contribute directly or indirectly to the satisfaction of everyone involved in the business, because when people act in groups, it is common for cascading changes of thought to occur.
A highly engaged and committed employee can positively or negatively influence the people around him.
On the other hand, a discouraged and uncommitted employee will always negatively affect the people around him.
This means that identify and work dissatisfied people it is just as important, if not more urgent, to offer promotions and bonuses to those who perform best.
Bet on technological solutions
The American electronics company Best Buy conducted several internal surveys to understand the wishes and complaints of its employees and, with the results obtained, developed an exclusive social network called Blue Shirt Nation.
The platform allowed employees, directors and partners to exchange information, tips and experiences about the work and the organization.
The surprising thing is that this simple tool was able to reduce the turnover rate by 48% and make employees feel more united and satisfied.
IBM is another company that bet on a similar solution, but with a much larger dimension.
SocialBlue, in addition to allowing interaction between all the people involved with the company, also hosts 17,000 internal blogs. There are already more than 100 thousand employees interacting, consuming and creating content within the platform.
This article is coming to an end and, as you can see, the organizational climate doesn’t just depend on the work environment.
It’s needed working people, creating ways for them to stay motivated and united. The old rigid and vertical administration is giving more and more space to horizontal management, in which all individuals are valued and recognized.
Did you like the post and want to learn more about it? So, stay on the blog and understand the differences between culture and organizational climate and how to work the two concepts together!