Organizational identification (OID) is a situation in which the employee and the company share the same goals and values. In this lesson, we will discuss the importance of that aspect as it relates to the business environment.
Organizations are complex organisms. They have different departments, values, desires, ideas, and personalities that make each one of them unique. There is nothing wrong with these differences; in fact, they are part of what makes each company different from the next. But we need to understand that while companies are different, the individuals within a specific company are different from each other as well. They are unique and have their own views of the world and business. It is the overall goal of the company to embrace that uniqueness, yet still have their employees identify with how the company views doing business.
You see, the company has values, goals, aims, and desires just like anything or anyone else, and organizational identification (OID) is the degree with which the company and the people in the organization share the same values, goals, desires, and aims. As the people in the company share the values of the organization, the company begins to get closer and starts working more like one big team as opposed to different departments staffed by different individuals.
Why Is OID Important?
Think for a moment about a football team. We have the coaches and players all working together for a common goal, which is to win the game. Now, if the team is the organization and the individual players are the employees, think what would happen if each player had their own unique values or goals for the team. What if those goals didn't match what the coach wanted? It would most certainly cause a problem because the players would be, for lack of a better word, going towards one direction, while the coaches would want them to go in another. In this model, success does not seem likely.
This is precisely why OID is so important. Companies want their employees to identify with the company's goals and values so they have a better chance of working as a team and winning. When employees identify or agree with these aspects of business, they have more pride about the jobs they do and the companies they work for and will feel better about themselves in the roles they are in.
As you can imagine, this closeness in values or beliefs shows in customer service and product quality, since the employees (the football players) and the company (the coaches) all have the same vision and goal.
The single best example I can think of for OID is the Apple stores. If you've never been into an Apple store, my best description of visiting one is walking into an alternative universe where Apple is not only a product but a way of life.
The environment is clean and sterile, with various Apple products on display and available for testing everywhere you look. Every employee is dressed the same and waits at the ready to help the potential customer not just purchase an Apple product but explain how the purchase of multiple Apple products (and the accompanying warranties and customer care programs) will help improve their work and personal lives. That is the basis of how Apple does business, and it is easy to see that Apple store employees embrace that ideology and exhibit a high level of OID.
It can be said that organizational identification (OID), or the degree with which the company and the people in the organization share the same values, goals, desires, and aims, is a journey, not a destination. But the company that focuses on that journey will be rewarded with not only having employees, but also partners in their business that identify with the company and understand what it's all about.
They are not simply just going to work and doing a job; they are entering a world they can relate to and want to be in. I think it is safe to say that if a company can achieve that level of employee involvement, they truly have reached their destination.
This lesson can help you to:
- Explain what organizational identification is within a company
- Consider why OID is important and how it helps companies achieve their goals
- Describe examples of different levels of OID