Corporate Culture at WestJet
1.Define how organizational culture manifest in an organization?
Organizational culture is the ensemble of beliefs, assumptions, values, norms, artifacts, symbols, actions and language patterns shared by all the members of an organization. WestJet had an incredible organizational culture which is core of their organization. This culture helped them increase their business with the help of both employee and customer satisfaction. The sense of purpose in WestJet was maintained over the time and raised the sense of aspiration of the organization. Both the current situation and, above all, in the future. To guide their actions toward that end, they need to set a milestone, being also the northern long term, they emplace in more concrete terms in a timely manner. That is why they must formulate the mission of the organization. Values are the cores of every business culture because they provide a sense of common direction to all the people who make up the company and guide lines to their daily work lines. The values in which espouses define the basic nature of the organization and create a sense of identity in it. WestJet had definite values which was the core for their business. Culture can manifest in different ways. Visible but often nonvisible are the behavioral regularities in the way people interact. Examples include the language used, customs and traditions practiced, and rituals employed in a wide variety of situations. Next, and also visible are those publicly announced principles and values the group claims to be trying to achieve and the ideologies and broad policies that guide a group’s actions. They may represent a formal philosophy presented to employees and stakeholders alike as well as the implicit rules for getting along in the organization. Less visible manifestations include habits of thinking, shared mental models that guide perceptions, thought, and language used by the group, and shared meanings and symbols that include ideas, feelings, and images that may not be appreciated consciously by members.
Understanding and interpreting organizational culture is important as it affects organizational development, productivity and learning at all levels.
2.The challenges in maintaining culture as organization grow in scale. How strong culture are created and maintained?
Organizational cultures are created by a variety of factors, founder’s values and preferences, industry demands, and early values, goals and assumptions. Culture is maintained through attractions-selection-attrition, new employee onboarding, leadership and organizational reward systems. WestJet’s director for the strategic planning had thoroughly reviewed the US-based SouthWest Airlines to understand how the culture of the company had evolved. He understood that it was the high performance culture that differentiated Southwest from its competitors. Hill felt that the culture in the company was reflected in the way the customers were treated. He believed that by aligning the interest of the people with business interest, it would be possible to foster a great culture.
Culture defines the organization:
Cultures are to be created and maintained for the better growth of the organization. It attracts the customers and they invest their interest and confidence based on the culture of the organization and in the case of WestJet the employees were all shareholders of the company, this made a huge impacts and therefore had a great result for the company. The culture adopted by the company was a good move and helped them to increase the revenue of the company.
Culture to be maintained:
As an organization matures, its cultural values are refined and strengthened. The early values of a company’s culture exert influence over its future values. It is possible to think of organizational culture as an organism that protects itself from external forces. Organizational culture determines what types of people are hired by an organization and what kind of people are left out. As in the case of WestJet Beddoe was of the view that as the employees were responsible for providing a friendly environment to the guests, it was important to recruit people who fit in with the culture of the organization. Hiring the right people is the most critical one. Organization must successfully socialize new employees into becoming organizational insiders, new employees will feel accepted by their peers and confident regarding their ability to perform and thus they will also understand and share the assumptions, norms, and values that are part of the organization’s culture.
3.How culture impact performance?
Every organization has its unique style of working which often contributes to its culture. The culture decides the way employees interact at their workplace. A healthy culture encourages the employees to stay motivated and loyal towards the management. The culture of the workplace also goes a long way in promoting healthy competition at the workplace. Employees try their level best to perform better than their fellow workers and earn recognition and appreciation of the superiors. At WestJet there were small groups to address employee grievances and encourage employee participation. At WestJet, CARE, or Creating a Remarkable Experience, was one of them. CARE was a group whose aim was to propagate the WestJet culture throughout the company. CARE had also created 250 events for the employees and their families. At these parties, employees were given profit-sharing checks. The culture of an organization represents certain predefined policies which guide the employees and give them a sense of direction at the workplace. The work culture goes a long way in creating the brand image of the organization. The work culture gives an identity to the organization. The organization culture brings all the employees on a common platform. The employees must be treated equally, and no one should feel neglected or left at the workplace. The work culture unites the employees who are otherwise from different back grounds, families and have varied attitudes and mentalities. The work culture promotes healthy relationship amongst the employees. No one treats work as a burden and molds himself according to the culture. It is the culture of the organization which extracts the best out of each team member. Culture develops a habit in the individuals which makes them successful at the workplace. The atmosphere in WestJet was moreover like relaxed with the employees calling even the CEO by his first name. With all the employees having a share in the company, there was a feeling among them of working for themselves. There was a total absence of hierarchy, and anybody, irrespective of the position in the company, pitched in to help others, to get the work done on time, and to serve the customers. By this WestJet sets a great example to the world on how the culture impacts the performance of the company. Their culture was developed in such a way that the morale of both the customers and employees were very high.
4.Importance of organizational culture and its impact on organizational behavior.
The organizational culture decides the way employees interact at their workplace. A healthy culture encourages the employees to stay motivated and loyal towards the management. The culture of the workplace also goes a long way in promoting healthy competition at the workplace. Employees try their level best to perform better than their fellow workers and earn recognition and appreciation of the superiors. It is the culture of the workplace which actually motivates the employees to perform. The culture adopted in WestJet was powerful and impressive one. WestJet was able to provide a healthy employee satisfaction. The culture of an organization represents certain predefined policies which guide the employees and give them a sense of direction at the workplace. Every individual is clear about his roles and responsibilities in the organization and know how to accomplish the tasks. In WestJet they embraced the idea that their people had more fun in workplace. Encouraging the employees to assume responsibility and providing them a role in the growth, resulted in better productivity, highly motivated employees, and high morale, all resulting in better customer service. This work culture goes a long way in creating the brand image of the organization. This work culture gives an identity to the organization. In other words, an organization is known by its culture. The employees must be treated equally and no one should feel neglected or left out at the workplace. It is essential for the employees to adjust well in the organization culture for them to deliver their level best. In WestJet all the employees had a share in company and thus created an equal feeling among all the employees in the company and in fact with the absence of hierarchy, the employees was free to express their opinions, help others, get the work done on time and to the serve the customers. This cultural system in WestJet was one of the best example in determining how important is the culture for an organization. Every employee is clear with his roles and responsibilities and strives hard to accomplish the tasks within the desired time frame as per the set guidelines. No one has to force anyone to work. The culture develops a habit in the individuals which makes them successful at the workplace.
Impact on organizational behavior
WestJet can be included as one of the organization that has a high impact on organizational behavior. This can be easily understood when they won the prestigious Randstand Award and was chosen ‘Canada’s Most Attractive Employer’ for the third year in a row. WestJet was selected from among 150 companies by more than 8,000 people in search of employment opportunities. The airline was rated high for its work environment, strong management, interesting work, and training. Organizational behavior can enable us to make sense of the world we live in and prepare us to understand, and effectively handle the challenges and diversities within organizations today. Understanding the behavior of the organization is important. organizational culture is defined as the shared values and assumptions within an organization. The culture of an organization also emphasizes what the company values as important and can shape the behaviors and personalities of individuals in the firm. An example of this is the culture of West Jet. Employees know that the organization values fun, customer-focus, and entrepreneurial spirit. Their employees share these values and this increases their commitment to the organizations’ success. Culture can bring employees together and can direct them towards achieving organizational goals. A strong culture can also enable your company to attract and retain individuals who share common values and who are a good “fit” for your organization. WestJet’s culture helped it remain profitable in an industry as highly volatile as the airline industry. Organizational culture therefore acts as a control system by persuading employees to behave in ways that are consistent with your company’s expectations.