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Importance of symbols incorporate culture

What is a corporate culture?

Corporate culture is described as the people's reaction to the individual's and to the environment in the organization (Groysberg, Lee, Price, & Cheng, 2018). Management has the right or freedom to use the corporate culture to drive the employees to achieve the company's strategic objectives that in turn going to benefit the firm as a whole. The corporate culture is also used to handle and differentiate the personal issues from the business issues.

What are Symbols?

A symbol is something that helps in understanding a particular meaning to the people who share a culture. They are represented by anything such as a flag, a word, a flashing light, a raised hand, or winking of an eye. Symbols are a cultural artifact, they are known as an act, an object or an event that express the meaning to others. Symbols are widely used in an organization to understand the interpretations, actions, reactions of the members of the organization. They are also meant to understand that how these feelings, thoughts and actions are carved by the collectivity. Symbols are quite essential to the life of the organization. They are not the organization's by-product but are some important elements that structure and benefit the organization members (Hatch, 2017).

Importance of symbols in the corporate culture

Corporate or businesses uses symbols to develop and impose a corporate culture. Symbols are quite easy to understand and can express the corporate value in a symbolic format or in an easy way. Symbols are of different types such as stories, heroes, ceremonies and slogans that the company emphasize them ideally in the minds of employees. Everyone wants a strong culture in their company but it is not easy to develop a strong base or foundation of the culture in your company. In the end, you still work on the basis of already existing values. But, to know more about the new people that are newly added to the organization requires to use symbols and stories. Using these will definitely going to shock your values and culture. Symbols are very important in corporate culture as:

The symbol is used as a reflection of the organizational culture: Organizational culture is very important and it took years to develop a fine culture. It is the result of shared interpretations and experiences that offer members of the organization with an accepted reality. Symbols are the mode of reflecting the organization's values, realities and ethics. The idea of a symbol is originated to define the first part of the culture. For example: A three feet toy aircraft is enough for an employee Jack Jonas who is twenty-six years old to tell him to start a job in a start-up company rather than working in an established business. The toy aircraft arrived when Jonas was about to visit and the employees started shouting with happiness as they understood the toy aircraft symbol.

The symbols are used as a trigger of internalized values and norms: The symbols are helpful in guiding the people's behaviour towards a situation. The behaviour of the people is associated with the symbols and helps in dealing the situation within the organization's values and norms. Symbols play a very important role and serves as a crucial joint between the feeling, behaviour and interpretation of the actions in the organization. Symbolic language is quite peaceful and helps in efficiently handle the situation. For example: If there is a clash between two employees and they are not in a mood of sort out, then a police uniform symbolises everything and increase the consciousness of the employees who are the part of the conflict. Thus, a uniform symbol explains everything and handles at least half of the situation.

Symbols are used as a frame for the conversation about the experience: Organization's use symbols to handle the conversation and this comes from the experience. Study of everyday experience can be formed as a symbol that can be used in future conversations. The other thing is to make those symbols available for the other employees and can be used as a method of discussion for the organization as a whole. For example: An image of a ring can be formed as a symbol for those employees who are creative and innovative (Sagmeister, 2018).

Symbols are used as an integrator of organizational system of meetings: Symbols are a great method and allow people to make sense of the organization. They are the expression of the organizational life. For example: In the military, achieving medals are a symbol of significant accomplishment.

Do stories, heroes, slogans, and ceremonies have symbolic value?

Stories are based on the real events of the organization that are shared and discussed by the employees within the organization. 

Heroes are the characters, real personalities that have done good deeds and can be used and symbolised on the occasion of an achievement.

Slogans are a phrase or sentence that represents the organizational value.

Ceremonies are the special events that are held for the benefit of the employees.

Yes, Stories, slogans, ceremonies and slogans do have a symbolic value. Each of them is a special activity, incident or a character that can be used as a symbol for wonderful achievements of the organization. They are absolutely a powerful tool that is highly used to boost the organization's success. They are repeatedly and occasionally remembered by the members of the company to form examples to others. Stories, slogans, heroes and ceremonies are highly useful as they can bolster the culture and values of the organization and are quite effective in making rules and help the organization to make people behave in the way the organization wants.

For example: During a stormy night, a package is out for delivery by the company FedEx to its destination airport. Due to much snow, the package was stuck in the box covered with snow. The employee of FedEx who is taking the package to the airport managed his way to a nearby garage, borrowed a torch and managed to cut the leg of the box and take it to the airport to get the package out and fly it to its required destination (Kreiner & Berg, 2017).

This story has made a symbol and a slogan that 'FedEx can do everything to deliver your parcel on time'. This is how the slogan, stories, ceremonies and heroes have great symbolic value.

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