Organizational Culture of the YMCA  

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Many people may compare themselves to one another however, no two people are cohesively alike. It is inevitable each person is different, and points of conflict tends to be a misunderstanding of those around us. One environment where this may be difficult is at work. Employees in a work environment will come from various diverse backgrounds. Not only are employees diverse, clients or customers will vary. On a daily basis, employees will come in contact with these people and companies recognize that they need to take an extra step to ensure their workers are knowledgeable. Diverse backgrounds include but are not limited to ethnicity, religion, and. One company encouraging change is the YMCA.

The Young Men’s Christian Association, also known as the YMCA, was established in London, England on June 6, 1844 by George Williams. The association intended to create a solution to tough living: undesirable social conditions that established towards the end of the Industrial Revolution. The socioeconomic status of London was deemed quite forbidding. The YMCA was founded as a place that was safer and more suitable for workers who lived in meager homes. Since the establishment became popular among the community, the first YMCA for African American’s was developed in Washington D.C. by Anthony Bowen in 1853.

The YMCA is a leading non-profit for “youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility” (The YMCA, 2017). The YMCA is now most commonly referred to as the Y, has evolved throughout the years. Through evolving, the Y provides for women, children, and men by focusing on social change and developing lasting personal relationships. The Y went from the cities of England in the 1800’s to serving the world. Worldwide, the Y serves over 45 million people in 119 countries while approximately 9 million youth and 13 million adults make up the amount of memberships in the United States (The YMCA, 2018).

Within the policy handbook, The YMCA raises cultural awareness to employees by discussing diverse cultural issues through many trainings. The YMCA prospers in giving employees opportunities to make a difference in diverse communities. Their no tolerance policy on discrimination, prejudice, and labeling is the main focus to uphold YMCA’s ethical values. The core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility are helping to improve health and well-being and make the world stronger. The YMCA standards are equal to any position across the board from a CEO, board member, executive, or any classified or management employee.

Developing skills in leadership, reaching professional goals through coaching and encouraging learning at all stages of an employee’s career (YMCA, 2018). The YMCA engages that regardless of faith, national origin, ideology, cultural background, ethnicity, gender, age, sex, or sexual orientation every employee from every walk of life works together to help strengthen communities. Professional development and training programs build positive efforts to be healthier in mind, spirit, and body.

After a rebrand of the organization in 2010, the YMCA shifted focus towards healthy living, social responsibility and youth development, (Stephenson, 2013). It’s believed the rebranding was implemented to modify its organizational identity for a more diverse and stakeholder group (Stephenson, 2013). The many positive ethical values for the YMCA proves to be both valuable and beneficial for their organizational culture which represents the foundation of the organization. Within any company, factors such as discrimination, stereotypes, and prejudice are a part of the space. These factors are not detrimental when describing the YMCA.

Moreover, these factors can function to be quite beneficial rather than a prevention to the organizations culture. As previously stated, the YMCA has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and prejudice by focusing on their ethical values to make a positive impact on the lives of all people involved or showcase from the outside. The YMCA’s ethical values are what personifies many beneficial factors of the organizational culture which include caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility (The YMCA, 2018). These values had been established beforehand as a guideline for all to withhold as volunteers and throughout the duration of employment.

Some recommendations for effectively working in a diverse company include creating an atmosphere that supports and fosters open communication. When a work place has many cultures and personalities, it can lead itself to disagreements and misunderstandings. The possibility of these understandings lower when there is a clear procedure for addressing these disagreements and misunderstandings. These procedures also increase the overall wellness of the company.

Providing employees with a person and location to with their issues can help facilitate better communication. Another way to increase communication in a company is to offer training on the different ways to communicate clearly. In addition, recommendations offering team building exercises or company outings can also lead to increase communication. In a more laid-back setting, employees become familiarized with their colleagues and allows them to look past differences that they may not have understood before.

Lastly, recommendation to provide training on various types of cultures that may be present in the company also improves the communication for the organization. For instance, you could have them do a presentation on their culture in front of the company if you have several employees that are Hispanic. This allows everyone to learn about their coworkers and the cultures that they may come across when interacting with their customers.

In any company, a key indicator of success is an awareness of diversity. By embodying the core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility, the YMCA strives to make each employee volunteer and feel as though they belong to a community. Continued training and education will be needed to ensure that the YMCA employees and volunteers are able to effectively work with each other and the various members who frequent the facilities on a daily basis.


  1. Organizational Profile. (n.d.). Retrieved November 2, 2018, from http://www.ymca.net/organizational-profile
  2. Stephenson, A. (2013, fall). Organizational Identity and the Rebranding of the YMCA. Sociological Viewpoints, 29(1), 101.
  3. Tan, D. W. (n.d.). For Youth Development For Healthy Living For Social Responsibility. Retrieved November 2, 2018, from http://www.mfldymca.org/about_us/history_national.php
  4. The YMCA. (2018). Retrieved from http://www.ymca.net/

Cite this paper

Organizational Culture of the YMCA  . (2021, Jul 17). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/organizational-culture-of-the-ymca/

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