If you graduated from a business program, undoubtedly, you were required to take an Organizational Behaviour (OB) course. If you were anything like me, you found this course incredibly dry. While the study of leadership, culture, decision-making, motivation, and other related topics may seem like excellent knowledge for an aspiring businessperson to acquire; I could not have cared less at the time. Three hours of my week were dedicated to listening to a professor monotonously lecture me on organizational change models, discuss employee motivation theories, and hypothesize about workplace stigmas. I’m boring myself just thinking about it.
It was not until I started working in the “real world” that I realized just how valuable Organizational Behaviour can be.
One OB concept that stands out for me is corporate culture. No matter the shape, size, or industry that an organization is in, every workplace has a culture. Establishing a positive culture should be a top priority for all managers. A positive culture translates to happy employees, enthusiastic morale, and hard work. A negative culture translates to disgruntled employees, carelessness, and inefficiency. Simple, right? Unfortunately, making everyone happy is not as easy as it sounds.
It is a manager’s job to get his/her employees to give a shit. The funny thing is, managers need to do the exact opposite of what my OB professors did. They need to make things exciting, challenging, and fun for their employees. Having a group of employees who enjoy walking into work everyday is key for every successful organization.
How can you change the office culture as an intern or entry-level employee? Small things like organizing a ping pong tournament, coordinating a hockey pool, or bringing donuts into your office can go a long way. It is also important to establish relationships with your coworkers, help your superiors whenever possible, and remember to smile while doing it. Ultimately, you don’t need to know corporate culture theories or the MARS model (the only model I remember) to make a difference in your workplace, you just need to give a shit.