Work Culture And Its Impacts In Society

It is well known that Work Culture in India is low, particularly in Governmental undertakings and organizations working along governmental lines. In Japan worker motivation is based on national pride where workers consider that it is their duty to make the nation strong. In Germany, there is a tradition of putting in hard work. Even in India, tradition also influences work culture. In certain States, employees put in hard work, while in others, they take it easy. When Indians go abroad, they work very hard. In IT and MNCs in India, work output is better than most countries, except China.

What Is Work Culture?

Work Culture (WC) is a comprehensive concept to include not only a measure of output in terms of quantity and quality but also several other factors, such as, attitude, behavior, energy, enthusiasm, motivation, discipline, decorum, attention, duty consciousness, sense of responsibility, commitment to the goals of the organization, relationship with colleagues, team spirit, cooperation, gratitude to the employer, work satisfaction, self-actuation, involvement in work, non-grumbling, etc. Work Culture can also be improved by spiritual and philosophical approach to work, where work is done without the notion of doer-ship, but is done as an offering to God or society, without expecting rewards. Theoretically, lack of work culture at work premises indicates attitude of workers not to exert and not to produce to the best of their ability and to ignore interest of the organization. In fine, this is the attitude of alienation of workers.

Work Culture In The Organizations

In every organization, a small percentage work well on their own, while at the other end a small percentage not only do not work but also obstruct work of others. Main focus of HRD programme to improve work culture will be the large majority between these two extreme groups of high performance and no performance segments. Work Culture depends on a variety of factors - political, economic, social, cultural, environmental, organizational, national trait, influences, etc. For instance, Chinese are very hard working and industrious. In Malayasia, Chinese used to dominate the economy because they are more hard working than local Malayasians. Similarly, in organization to organization, work culture will be different in the same area. Out of 350 million work force in our country, about 35 million are in the organized sector, out of which 22 million are in Government or semi-Government organizations. Government organizations (GOs) have a low Work Culture. It has been pointed that they work for less than 200 days a year with 104 Saturday-Sundays, one month privilege leave, 15 public holidays, 13 casual leaves, sick leave, etc. They hardly work 1200 hrs per year. Therefore, work culture depends on the motivation of the leaders i.e. attitude of the management at the same time, attitude or the morale of the workers which is also indirectly dependent on the attitude of the management and the trade union leaders. It is unwise to bracket the workers and make only them responsible for lack of work culture.

An Example To Work Culture

At the other end, in Bangalore itself, employees in the IT sector and MNCs work for more than 300 days a year at an average of 10 to 12 hrs per day, working out to 3600 hrs per year, which means 3 times the average of Government employees. When an employee joins an organisation, he is motivated and open-minded. Why? Because, he wants to prove that you made the right decision by hiring him. The most open-minded are the most willing to mould and change into the company's culture. "But if a company doesn't have good work culture, he just moulds into the wrong work culture. If the training is straightened out properly, I would say 90 per cent of the company's problems will be solved right there.

Work Culture - Security And Productivity

The security of job, lack of incentive, absence of punitive measures etc have reduced work culture. But in Japan, the security of lifelong service is one of the main reason for high productivity. In India, lifelong security of service in Government has depressed productivity.

Work Culture - Permanent And Temporary Employment

In some PSUs, there is a system of contract labour who carry out activities identical to what the permanent employees do. The contract labour get only one fifth of the emoluments of permanent employees, with no security of service. And yet, the efficiency of the contract labour is far more than that of the permanent labour. This shows that the fear of losing the job is one factor, which compels temporary employees and contract labour to work harder.

Work Culture - Working Environment

Kerala is a standing example of how political environment, Trade Union activity etc are responsible for poor work culture. In fact, industries don’t come to Kerala because the environment is not conducive, with frequent bundhs, agitations and confrontational attitude of labor Unions. The same Keralites are excellent workers in other parts of the country, where their jobs are insecure and they have to prove their work in order to get employment.

Work Culture - Reward And Punishment

Reward for good work and punishment for low output or misdemeanor have been the standard formula to increase efficiency of employees. It has not been able to implement these ideas in GOs and most of the large scale private establishments, because of the strength of Trade Unions. PSUs, Banks, Insurance companies, Railways, Port trust, Electricity Boards, Road Transport Undertakings, Municipal Services, have found it difficulty to enthuse employees to put in optimum output. In recent times, competitions among Banks and Insurance Companies, privatization of telephones and PSUs have led to higher efficiency.