Changing the culture in your organization is the hardest mission you will ever have to do in your career. The culture in most, if not all organizations is shaped by the workers that make up the body of the company. It will feel like rolling tires uphill when changing your organization’s culture. We have to first think about why the culture is the way it is; could it be because it matches the style of the organization’s senior management team?
The culture in an organization grows over time, and the people in the organization get comfortable with the current culture. It often takes a drastic event in the organization to spark new culture changes. This could include things like the hiring of a new CEO or other senior management position with a different viewpoint or the discussions of reorganization or even bankruptcy. Any major announcement or situation that will change the way the current organization operates will get the attention of the workers.
You may find in the discovery process that your current culture may not be bad, it may be that it does not effectively support the organizational goals and accomplishments or works against best practices. You may need to make some adjustments to the current culture to support the goals and efficacy of your organization, or you may need to do a full culture revamp. Even after discovering that the organization’s culture may the root cause of missed opportunities and effective processes, it is a difficult challenge that will take proactive planning and a constant and conscious devotion to change.
Once you and your organization recognize that change is needed concerning the current culture, it is the first step in the transformation towards a new culture. If someone told you that change is easy, let me say right now that it is not. Change is challenging, difficult, and sometimes messy. On the other hand, it is possible but it first needs commitment, a plan, and patience. You will also need tools to drive, measure, and sustain results.
To obtain an effective culture change you must provide a reasonable expectation for your employees. Use focus groups to begin establishing roles and responsibilities to put the mission and vision into an accountable process. Then comes frequent follow-up to ensure accountability is in place and is fostering the correct behavior changes. Keeping your employees informed will ensure there is a commitment between all.
You may need to redesign your reward and recognition system to encourage the behaviors to the new organizational behavior change. You must make sure that your current work system is structured to the new culture; such as employee hiring selection, promotions, and performance management.
Changing your organizational culture can be done without a doubt. It takes time, commitment, and follow through. But overall, it takes planning and proper implementation.
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