Compatibility is a state in which two things are able to exist or occur together without hitches or conflict. In today’s computerized world we talk about the machine’s compatibility to a software and other gadgets.  The food that we eat, the medicines we consume, the beverages all of these work well when they are compatible to our body and mind system. In personal life as well as professional life individuals seek compatibility.

How is workplace compatibility developed?

Many factors go into making a relationship work; the biggest ones is compatibility. If two individuals have nothing in common and share little or no interests once the newness of the relationship wears off, there’s not much left to work with. Compatibility is the like-mindedness shared by two people or a group. Therefore, when people work together the compatibility component is very important.

How does compatible relationship helps organization

Compatible relationships create individual peak performance and collective organizational reciprocity, resulting in an organization that functions at optimal levels of organizational effectiveness. Performance in an organization is influenced by compatible relationships between the leadership style and the motivational needs of followers. Organizations fail badly when they hire employees who don’t “fit” into the organizational culture and policies. The misfits cost a lot in terms of money and cultural pilferage. It includes cost to recruit, train the employee, and other employee morale gets affected. Wrongly selected employees can hamper an organization even if it is well established. Bad hires negatively affect organization.

While oil and gas companies are prime targets for a lot of negative PR and public ire, Chevron Corporation employees are well-versed towards the company’s culture. They are dedicated to safety, supporting employees and team members looking out for each other. Chevron cares about its employees by providing health & fitness centers on site through health-club memberships. It offers other health-oriented programs such as massages and personal training. Chevron insists employees take regular breaks. In other words, the company shows it cares about the well-being of employees, and employees know that they are valued.  The level of freedom are empowerment is understood in tight sense by its employees. Chevron grew as a corporation because it cares a lot about compatibility with its workers.

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How does workplace compatibility affect Mergers and acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions fail staggeringly and cultural incompatibilities play a dominant role in most of these problem mergers. Across industries, the failure rate of M&A is almost at 50%.  The unfortunate thing is that a majority of M&As, simply do not make the expected return on the investment and the toll on employees in merged or acquired organization is much higher.  In a muddled atmosphere key people leave organization which increases fear and resentment in other employees. Organizations lose the momentum on sales, product development, R&D, infrastructure etc. Hence each employee’s compatibility with the organization’s core values matters. The cultural fit is very important.

For a healthy union of two organizations, cultural norms of the two organizations need explicit attention, if it is ignored everything fails. The cultural norms are what drive almost every aspect of the respective companies; instead of assuming, there should be clarity on how the business should be run, how decisions are made, even how people should be treated. The bottom line is that leaders who ignore the role of culture during an M&A activity simply are not fulfilling their responsibility towards all stakeholders.

In Abraham Maslow’s famous hierarchy of needs, self-actualization is located at the very top of the pyramid, it embodies the need to fulfill one’s individual potential. According to Maslow, peak experiences plays an important role in self-actualization. This experience is really rare, which makes the peak experiences elusive. Not all people reach the peak of Maslow’s pyramid. In one study conducted across business firms the researchers found that only about two-percent of individuals surveyed had ever had a peak experience.

Peak experiences are not restricted solely to self-actualized individuals, however. Maslow believed that all people are capable of having these moments, but he also felt that self-actualized people were likely to experience them more often. Maslow also felt sure that the more emotionally healthy we are, the greater the likelihood of a peak-experience.

Workplace compatibility and leadership

This bring the focus on the relationship between leadership style and the motivational needs of the followers. When the leader-follower relationship is compatible, the followers feel motivated to give their best. Compatible relationships create individual peak performance and collective organizational tradeoff, resulting in an organization that functions at optimal levels of organizational effectiveness. Performance in an organization is influenced by compatible relationships between the leadership’s style and the motivational needs of followers. Employees who clearly understand their individual goals-and how they relate to those of the organization they work in are more engaged with their work. When the employees see how they can make a direct contribution, they become successful. They begin to focus on finding ways to work smarter and more efficiently. This boost in employee productivity is most essential for running organizations smoothly.

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Southwest Airlines has been in operations for over four decades. They enjoy customer loyalty because of their happy and friendly employees who are extremely hospitable. This airline has managed to communicate its goals and vision to employees in a way that makes them a part of a unified team. Southwest believes in permitting its employees to go that extra mile to make customers happy, empowering them to do what they need to do to meet the organizational goals and vision. Employees who are convinced of a larger common goal are people who are excited to be part of a larger purpose.

To strike the compatibility with assistants’ leaders must talk with clarity; explain what is expected from the assistants. Why is the organization in business? Why should customers care? What is the next level the business wants to move? What strategies to adopt, what policies to make, clarity matters.

Actions speak louder than words. Followers watch their boss: is he doing all that he is speaking?  Employees appreciate a boss who is transparent about the processes and methods, everybody appreciates transparency. Fortunately, transparency does not require the leader to fork over trade secrets but it does mean being honest about how one conducts business. Openness and information sharing helps to build that trust.

That little motivation matters a lot; profitable and sustainable enterprises thrive on original thinking while copycat businesses shutter their doors as soon as the idea they have stolen loses its relevance. Since the successful conception and development of viable business ideas takes time and requires a flexibility motivates employees. Google does this by giving its engineers 20 percent of their time to work on any project they want. This allows team members to develop products they are passionate about. Many times, that means more care and attention goes into each effort. Gmail is the most famous consequence of Google’s generous 20 percent time policy.

So job fit refers to the degree the person hired can perform the responsibilities that the position requires while culture is how well the employees are compatible with core values and norms of the organization. The fact is that different people work and live at different tempos in life. Discovering and acknowledging a person’s tempo before hiring him is an important step to finding someone with a similar and compatible tempo.

Some people are laid-back and let little get to them, while others take every one of life’s challenges to heart. Some people value work, seeing no problem in working 12-hour days, while others value spending time with family and one’s children. What kind of person will suit the organization’s culture, requires decision. Both employees and management need to tune in on same note for deciding priorities, and once the priorities are set there will be lesser hassles and lesser arguments about any issues.

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