In our country it was under estimated and
By RAFI AHMED
Senior Vice President
Muslim Commercial Bank Ltd
Consumer Banking Group
Oct 22 - 28, 2001
Corporate Culture can best be described as a
combination, admixture, blend and potpouri of rites, rituals,
traditions, values, regulations, taboos, myths, mythology, legends,
customs, habits, habitat, heroes, values, symbols, cult, artifacts,
systems, managerial styles, procedure and processes.
The importance of Corporate culture is recognised
the world over. But in our country it was not appreciated in proper
perspective. Rather it was underestimated and ignored.
The corporate culture in vogue in our organizations
is very rich and second to none, it has a brilliant future. However
this Corporate Culture was at times not fully exposed or projected,
cast into limbo or lying dormant or derelict. It has re-emerged in
recent times which is a healthy sign for our organizational growth. It
was not effectively used previously for achieving optimum results or
producing employee coherence as well as bringing about improved
employee- employer relations.
Corporate culture and 'organization' supplement and
complement each other, rather they exist as fish and water. No company
or corporate body can afford to live without it, as no fish can exist
without water. The basic ingredients which determine and make a
Corporate culture as follows:
• System of Management
• Habitat or work place
• Habits - People at work, their attitude & Behaviour.
Now let us look each of them briefly in terms of
System of Management
The system of management must be based on an
open-door policy. It must be both employee-friendly as well as
customer-oriented. Through open door policy and glasnost (openness),
we can accommodate the hopes and aspirations of the people and
channelise their energies for achieving the organisational goals. The
System of Management must not be heavily bureaucratic or hierarchical,
in which case the employee or work associate is deterred from dialogue
with the management. Through Glasnost we can openly discuss the
strengths and weaknesses of an individual and the organization as well
and come out with a solution to various issues and problems. Besides
the System of Management must not be impervious to the demands of
customers. It must be tailor-made to satisfy the customers needs and
based on marketing concept. It must be sympathetic to the customer
care and futuristic in outlook.
Habitat or Workplace
The environment in its Macro-unit (Head Office) and
Micro-units (Branches) must be friendly, warm, congenial and
impressive. The work associates (employees) must have a life long
association and instilled with a feeling of pride in serving the
organization. The sense of belonging and appreciation must in built.
Besides the Micro-unit must have an amiable and sympathetic atmosphere
for the customers. A customer should feel that the organization or the
bank is his partner in facilitating his trade, commerce and business.
This reciprocity gives rise to brand loyalty. The customers should be
made as comfortable as possible and the Branch Staff should provide
full hospitality to them. The buzzword should be: A satisfied and
happy customer is the best customer.
People at Work
The people must be courteous, have pride in
organizational association and must be achievement oriented. The case
of banking industry can be cited. Since banking is a service industry,
and the person selling the service/and the service itself are
inseparable from each other, therefore, customers regard both the
service and banker as the one and same: It is imperative that the
Banker must be well-versed in his job. Besides the emotional and
professional needs of the work associate must be satisfied. Progress,
growth and development of an employee is the progress of the
organization. The archetypes and paradigms should be changed. A new
mindset needs to be formed for excellence in corporate endeavours.
The approach of the organization must be positive
and it must strive to have the right number and right kind of people
at the right places and at the right time. It must be remembered that
self-satisfaction and job satisfaction are the best satisfactions for
the employees. By satiating and bolstering the ego of the employees
much can be accomplished easily. By providing a healthy working
environment and satisfying their needs, employees can be motivated and
resultant teamwork can be channelised for the good of the organisation.
People must be encouraged to be innovative in their approach to the
work and day to day problems. The staff should remain strongly
committed to the targets and ideals of the organization. These must be
undivided and unconditional. Their loyalty must be unflinching.
It is a fact that both formal and informal
communication can be used for effecting changes in the environment and
improving upon the existing system. The importance of informal
communication and grapevine must not be overlooked. For furthering the
aims of the organisation, if there is need, then Perestroika (or
Restructuring or Re-organizing) can be adopted and implemented. But to
accomplish better results, piecemeal approach is not desirable and
should be discouraged.
Corporate Culture is therefore synergy in which
coordinated action helps in making the organizational climate and
building up its image amongst the customers and general public.