Organization climate is defined as the element of a professional environment that has a strong influence on the action and performance of the employees working in that workplace. It indicates whether the expectations and beliefs of the individuals are fulfilled.
It is an organizational climate that separates one company from the other by giving it a distinct personality.
Organizational climate is a concept that was introduced in the year 1940s and has been able to describe the patterns that have an impact on human behaviour as well as workplace behaviour.
It is a reflection of the perceptions that an employee has about his work environment. Organizational climate is also known as corporate climate as it quantifies the culture of a corporation. It has a significant impact on job satisfaction, productivity and motivational levels of the employees in the organization.
Various types of organizational climate
The different types of organizational climate that results because of the culture of an organization are
1. People-Oriented Climate
The organizational culture that includes a core set of values and puts its onus on care and concern for the employees’ results in people-oriented climate
2. Rule-Oriented Climate
The organizational culture that provides for featured benefits and puts its burden on attention to details by all the members’ result in rule-oriented climate
3. Innovation-Oriented Climate
The organizational culture that introduces new ways and processes to develop new and innovative things results in innovation-oriented climate
4. Result-Oriented Climate
The organizational culture that gives preference to values and puts its onus on refining every detail of the processes to refine and achieve results is known as result-oriented climate
The characteristics of organizational climate are
1. General expression
Organizational climate is the general expression or the perception of the individuals about its organization as it depicts their thoughts and impression about the internal environment in the company
2. Unique identity
It is the organizational climate that gives the organization a unique or distinct identity
3. Multi-dimensional concept
Organizational climate is considered as a multi-dimensional concept where its numerous dimensions include the degree of conflict, leadership style, authority structure and autonomous nature
4. Intangible concept
An crucial characteristics of organizational climate is that it is considered a qualitative or intangible concept as it is quite challenging to explain its components in measurable units
5. Enduring quality
Organizational climate is built over a certain period and is the representation of the enduring quality of the internal environment of the company that is experienced by its employees
Factors affecting organizational climate
- The structure of the organization including rules, regulations and constraints
- Feelings of helpfulness in the work environment
- Perception of the relative risk in the work situation
- The level of conflict and tolerance the work environment can tolerate
- Being confident of the appropriate records
- Individual responsibility of an employee
- Working with cooperative individuals
- Opportunities that have an impact on personal initiative
- Working with a competent superior
- Functions objectives, goals and mission in the organizational context
- Operating procedures of an organization
- Degree of centralization
- Leadership styles and decision-making process has a direct impact on the organizational climate
- Physical space characteristics and employee safety has an impact on organizational climate
- Organizational values and organizational climate are interlinked
Influence of organizational climate on human performances
The influence of organizational climate on human performance can be described as
- Organizational climate provides an environment where the employee either feels satisfied or dissatisfied. Excellent and positive work environment motivates the members and boosts their levels of performances. The job satisfaction is directly linked with the efficiency levels of the employees as it reduces turnover if found favourable
- Organizational climate is directly related to employee performance as it has a significant impact on the attitude of the employees.
- Human performance is predictable for employees who work in a consistent organizational climate. An inconsistent organizational climate harms employee productivity
Impact of organizational climate
Organizational climate has been directly linked with the performance of the employees as it has an impact on their job satisfaction. The four mechanisms through which organizational climate impacts the behaviour of the employee is
1. Evaluation of self as well as others
Evaluation of self or someone else will affect human behaviour. It is a fact that organizational variables including psychological and physiological variables are used in the evaluation process
2. Constraint system
It is easy to influence human behaviour through a system of rewards and punishments.
The organization can use the constraint system in both a negative and positive way by giving out viable information about the behaviour and attitude that will be ignored, punished and rewarded. It is generally used in case of employees that are interested in various behavioural outcomes.
3. By acting as stimuli
The organizational factors act as stimuli in influencing human behaviour. The stimuli have an impact on the arousal levels that ultimately affect the participation and performance level of the employees
4. Helping the employees to form perception
Organizational climate has a vital role to play in higher levels of productivity, better human relations and greater employee satisfaction. It influences employee behaviour by assisting in forming important perceptions and impressions of the organization
Dimensions of organizational climate
The dimensions that represent the climate of organizational are
1. Inter-Personal Relationships
The informal groups in an organization can work both ways as it can displace the goals and objectives of the company as well as prove beneficial for the organization.
One of the essential dimensions of organizational climate is that the interpersonal relationships are often reflected through the formation and operation of these informal groups
2. Dominant Orientation
This is a crucial component or dimension that helps to determine organizational climate. When the dominant orientation is subjected to the rules and regulations of the organization that are already in place the organizational climate will be influenced by control whereas if the purpose of dominant orientation is to produce excellence, then it will be affected by the achievement
3. Organizational structure
It is one of the major components of organizational climate that serves as the groundwork of interpersonal relationships between the lower and higher levels of employees.
Who will work under whom and which superiors are responsible for which subordinates are clarified at the beginning through the organizational structure? It is a proven fact that decentralization encourages participation in decision-making whereas centralization has the opposite effect
4. Individual autonomy
A critical dimension or component of organizational climate is individual autonomy. It means that if individuals are given enough authority, power and freedom, it will lighten the workload of higher executives and bring forth efficiency in operations
5. Conflict management
Intra-group and inter-group conflicts are an integral part of an organization, and the organizational climate to a higher degree is dependent upon how these are managed.
In case the conflicts are handled the work environment effectually will show cooperation and harmony, and if not, then the workplace will show non-cooperation and distrust.
6. Organizational control system
Another component of organizational climate is the organizational control system which can be either flexible or rigid. A rigid control system will not have much scope for self-regulation and will result in an impersonal environment in the organization
The communication system of a place has a direct impact on its organizational climate. The determinants are type, flow, direction and dispersing of the flow of information.
The proper communication system in an organization means that employees at the junior level are free to express their suggestions, reactions and ideas to others
8. Relations-oriented or task-oriented management
Another dimension of organizational climate is relations-oriented or task-oriented management. The dominant or aggressive style of the managers or leadership is reflected via task-oriented management and will show their autocratic behaviour.
In this scenario, the employee morale is low because they know for a fact that they will have to show desired results or face repercussions. In case the manager or supervisor is relation-oriented in an organization, the organizational climate will be supportive.
The needs and requirements will be given importance, and this will felicitate team spirit and bonding
9. Rewards and punishment
Another dimension of organizational climate is the concept of rewards and punishment. In case the reward system is directly linked with productivity and performance, then it will encourage healthy competition amongst the employees.
Everyone will work hard and try to give their best to earn promotions or other incentives and benefits as rewards. In case the distribution of rewards is considered bias then it will lead to low employee morale
Another dimension of the organizational climate is risk-taking. When the employees can try out new ideas without any hesitation, it results in innovative ideas and a better work environment
How to improve organizational climate
The morale and motivational level of the employees. It attracts new talent and boosts interpersonal relationships. The ways to grow and develop organization climate are as follows-
1. Identifying the current state of organizational climate
Change is possible only if you are aware of the things that need to be changed. The best way is to understand the current state of the organizational climate and identify the things that need to be fixed.
Conduct employee surveys if you are looking for ways to develop and improve organizational climate. This will tell you about the factors making a positive contribution as well as the ones that are not having the desired impact.
Is there a clarity amongst the employees about the expectations that the organization has from them, can they complete tasks with minimum supervision, do they find the goals realistic and challenging, are the set rules and procedures necessary, do the members have pride in their work and their workplace and are they receiving praise as well as sufficient rewards for their performances are some important survey questions that will help to make things clear.
Another way to get information is by encouraging feedbacks and team meetings to know about real facts. All these measures will prove a blessing in identifying the current state of organizational climate so that you can make the necessary changes
2. Raise awareness about the mission of the organization
It is imperative to know and update your team members about the value, mission and direction of the organization. Make them understand their role in the overall mission and its impact on the projects of the organization.
Raise awareness about the mission of the organization if you are looking for ways to improve and develop the organizational climate.
3. Identify the factors that motivate people
It becomes difficult to follow the same routine day-by-day and complete similar old tedious tasks. Identify the factors that motivate people and assist in strengthening them if you are looking for ways to develop and improve organizational climate.
Clear structure in the organization, open flow of information via right communication channels and realistic goals assist in understanding whether the supervisor values the personal qualities and skills of the employees.
Simple gestures and small improvements have a significant impact on the motivation and morale of the employees. Ultimately it makes the work environment comfortable so that it becomes easy to improve organizational climate as well as productivity.
Implementing a formal reward system will serve as a motivational tool. Offer reward based on measurable performance metrics, for instance, a bonus, additional leave, a gift, a coupon etc.
Praise and rewards show that the work is appreciated and valued by the organization.
4. Improve task delegation
Understand the delegation process so that you can make useful improvements and changes to develop the organizational climate of a company. It becomes imperative to know why some people find favour or why some are chosen for specific responsibilities and tasks, whereas others are not.
Make sure to understand the process of task delegation so that it becomes easier to boost the morale of the employees. Evaluate assignments and reassign tasks to achieve favourable balance.
Tell your team members the rational thinking behind it so that they can appreciate your fair reasoning.
5. Encourage team cooperation
Encouraging team members to give their best is one of the ways to improve and develop organizational climate. Develop a feeling of unity to grasp opportunities that can help you to attain goals.
It is the responsibility of the management to provide meaningful feedbacks regularly to let them know about their performances and the places where improvement is possible and necessary.
Make sure that your suggestions are constructive and actionable that will allow the organization to bond with its employees and encourage team cooperation for the growth and development of the company.