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A Review of Preferred Work Culture Contributing to Employee Satisfaction in Today’s Organizations

The term “culture” by and large denotes the ideas, customs, and art of a particular society. While referring to work culture or organization culture one would particularly mean the customs, patterns, arts and beliefs followed in various organizations. Edgar Schein, one of the most prominent theorists of organizational culture, gave the following definition: The culture of a group can now be defined as a pattern of shared basic assumptions that the group learned as it solved its problems of external adaptation and internal integration, that has worked well enough to be considered valid and therefore, to be taught to new members as the correct way to perceive, think, and feel in relation to those problems.

Employee satisfaction on the other hand is a measure of how happy workers are with their job and working environment. Keeping morale high among workers can be of tremendous benefit to any company as quite rightly pointed out Jack Welch in his statement “Employee satisfaction gets you productivity, quality, pride, and creativity”. In today’s world of globalization organizations stress immensely to follow a culture which encourages open channels of communication, a flat hierarchy, informal environment, teamwork, and respect to new ideas and thoughts.

The following aspects can broadly define the likely preferred work culture in today’s organizations which contribute to a satisfied workforce:


1. Work Timings: Flexible work timings have gained immense popularity amongst today’s organizations. Organizations have started giving their employees the leverage of entering the office premises at anytime of their convenience and completing their designated tasks, though a minimum hours have to be spent in the workplace.

2. Work From Home: Another concept which is gaining importance, more amongst female workers, is the concept of “work from home”. Organizations are largely investing in equipments with the aid of which employees will have the benefit to stay at home and at the same time stay connected to the office network.

3. Business Attire: As opposed to formal business attire for day to day work, organizations have now remodeled their policy on daily dress code to the widely preferred business casuals which also includes denim on one day of work. A few organizations also have a policy of Friday dressing where only casuals can be worn by their employees.

4. Flat Hierarchy: The preferred organization structure is a flat organization structure with few levels of hierarchy which enables fast decision making and easy accessibility to top management. People who stay closer to customers know better the market needs and can respond faster to rapidly changing customer requirements and such changes can be easily highlighted and brought to the notice of the top management in a flat hierarchy. Another emerging trend in today’s organization are meetings with supervisors supervisor which helps in smooth interaction within different levels of management which is very effective within a flat hierarchy.


5. Decentralization: This is the process of dispersing decision-making governance to the employee at the lowest level of the hierarchy and giving them the right to exercise a few decisions all by themselves which acts as a great time saving and cost cutting mechanism.

6. Employee Empowerment: Organizations are largely investing in employee empowerment. The increasing use of Employee Self service Systems which allow employees to maintain their own personal data is the biggest example. This also helps to reduce unnecessary paper work and also aims at data accuracy.

7. Innovation: As George S Patton says "Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results." The increasing demand of today’s workforce is acknowledgment and implementation of their ideas and thus organizations have now started investing in employee innovation where young and fresh ideas are being recognized as best practices.

8. Rewards & Recognition: With the increase in stress levels, with long working hours how does an organization aim to create contributing and motivated employees, how do organizations maintain the high employee morale and the quality of life are some of the key concerns of today’s organizations and one of the many answers to these question is an effective reward and recognition system. Apart from the performance appraisal system organizations today are investing a lot in reward and recognition programs where employees are rewarded as Star employees and key achievers, long Service awards are announced for employees who work with the organization for a long tenure, Employee referral programs motivates an employee to bring their friends to work with them.

9. Employee Recreation: Employee recreation programs have been shown to reduce absenteeism, increase performance and productivity, reduce stress levels, and increase job satisfaction. The new term coined to define employee recreation is associate engagement. A few examples of employee recreational activities are office outings, invitation to employees family to come and visit employees workplace, annual sports event, team outings, decoration of employee workspace , organizing music clubs, dance clubs, drama clubs, arranging training for special areas of interest of the employees.

10. Employee Benefits: Benefits are forms of value, other than payment, that are provided to the employee in return for their contribution to the organization. Employee benefits typically refers to retirement plans, health life insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, vacation, employee stock ownership plans, membership to clubs, special offers and discounts on premium products and outlets, sponsorship for education of employees children, attractive schemes from financial institutions on purchase of assets, subsidized food in canteen

To sum up culture is the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate behavior and in today’s world organizations are going through a constant change in order to maintain the best possible culture which sets an example and pave the way for enhanced employee satisfaction.

Contributed By: Stuti Banerjee, human resource professional with 6 yrs of experience currently engaged with HR consulting on ERP platform. [email protected]

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