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Changing Corporate Culture: How to Start a Workplace Culture Transformation

Organizational culture has a significant impact on productivity, employee engagement, and company growth. Businesses of all sizes should understand the establishment of productive and positive work culture. This will demonstrate the core value of the company and unite the workforce around a common goal and shared vision.

Great company culture doesn’t happen overnight. The industry, company objectives, and other important factors are critical to a successful transformation. But for companies seeking to be more innovative and adaptive, culture change is a challenging part of the transformation.

Innovation demands new practices and behavior from employees and leaders. In this case, companies provide high potential leaders with inclusive leadership training and coaching to develop next-generation leaders that drive the company to incredible business results.

Transforming the corporate culture may seem daunting. Others think it’s impossible because they think no one has control over culture since it grows organically. In reality, changing the company culture is possible when properly cultivated by the company leaders. If deemed successful, a rewired company culture can produce great dividends.

Analyze the existing company culture

The transformation of company culture is only possible if the people involved clearly understand the current culture. There should be a reason behind this planned cultural shift to determine the strategies needed for this change. This involves the challenges faced by the workforce and how employees recognize the company’s cultural issues.

More often, company leaders initiate and implement cultural transformations without feedback from employees. The cultural views embraced by the CEO and executives vary extensively from those at the bottom. A top-down mandate often ends up a failure because it doesn’t consider the perception of the employees. Demanding compliance can be difficult if there’s no trust, optimism, conviction, and creativity.

Start by conducting an insight discovery which involves gathering qualitative and quantitative information about the current cultural challenges. This will allow leaders to understand the existing reality and determine which changes will produce positive results without sacrificing productivity.

There are different resources and methods to conduct an insight discovery. These include surveys, small focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and interactive discussion sessions. It’s also important to involve the top players, team leaders, executives, and everyone who contributes to the company culture. These approaches encourage two-way communication and allow enablers to collect feedback from everyone involved.

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Strategize based on company goals

Now that you have an idea about the ideal culture the company wants to have, it’s time to devise a strategy that generates an actionable plan. To start, focus on the strengths of the current culture and areas you want to work out. Then, outline the desired objectives the company wants to attain without going too far.

Create a realistic objective by starting with an achievable and limited number of goals that are clear, actionable, measurable. From there, create a strategy that promotes the following positive changes:

  • Leadership: The company should be able to hire and develop high potential leaders that will promote desired behavior and norms to help in the management of people-related aspects of the company culture.
  • Structure: Accountabilities and authorities should be consistent with the desired norms and behavior.
  • Staffing: The company should assign job roles aligned with the behavior and skill sets of employees to encourage required changes.
  • Competency: When a company undergoes a culture transformation, managers and the workforce will require new knowledge and skills to make it work. From there, the company needs a competency development strategy.
  • Management: This serves as the framework that will guide employees towards the right behavior that match the new corporate culture. These include coaching, regular appraisal, goal setting, and performance planning.
  • Compensation: This will facilitate the rewarding of new behavior and penalizing action that goes against the company culture.
  • Communication: A personalized communication system should promote changes towards new behavior and norms.

Engage employees and teams

One way to engage employees is to allow them to feel involved by asking about their thoughts on the company’s culture transformational process.

Recognize and engage employees who are making significant progress. Do this by allowing them to feel connected and involved in the cultural transformation. Be sure everyone feels they’re making contributions to the cultural changes of the company. At the same time, facilitators should also make efforts by helping employees understand the objectives of the cultural change and what the company expects of them.

Driving culture change in the workplace isn’t fast and simple. It only happens when leaders and employees take action and stick to it. Build a strategy that considers the needs of employees and set a realistic time frame. Make sure to get everyone involved, from the CEO, team members, and even the newest hire. All these things are necessary to ensure the success of a cultural shift of the company.

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