In our previous blogs we focused on why your company culture is such an important factor when it comes to securing the long-term success and growth of your business.
But, what can you actually do to change your culture?
We’ve got you covered - here are the most essential tips to keep in mind when embarking on any cultural change initiative:
1. Understand your culture - avoid assumptions!
Before you can change it, you need to fully understand your current culture to be able to identify where change is needed most, and what you should in. Check out the 3 positions test – Observe, Ask & Compare to start to build a true picture of your existing culture and where change is needed.
2. Determine the outcomes you want
Next, you need to decide exactly what it is you want to achieve. It’s important to articulate your cultural vision, or end-goals before starting on the journey…
Examine your business vision, values, and strategic goals to determine what type of culture you need to deliver against these. The following questions will help:
What does your business want to achieve in the next 2-3 years, and what’s going to be most important from an employee perspective in getting you there?
What are your business values, the core behaviours all employees should be demonstrating, and how are these currently supported or hindered by your culture?
What works really well currently in terms of ways of working that you want to build on and grow?
Which areas is the business currently underperforming in?
3. Create the conditions for change
Changing people’s mindset and behaviour is the toughest part of any culture change initiative. You will not achieve meaningful, sustainable transformation by simply telling people they need to change.
Here are 3 smart tips for changing behaviour:
Create a sense of personal accountability – Communicate the need and urgency for change so that it lives in the collective hearts and minds of people, and ask them to contribute to this view so that they feel a sense of ownership. Instil responsibility and commitment, agreeing upfront the role you’d like people to play in making the change work. Co-creating your business values, mission statement, or refreshing what you have is a powerful way to achieve this. You should also create an open forum where people can share ideas for making improvements in the areas you’ve set out - be sure to assign ownership in a way that empowers, rather than dictates actions.
Find your role models – Leaders are key role models when it comes to the behaviour of employees. If the top of the organisation is not championing and demonstrating the desired changes, you cannot expect to see your employees adopting the change either. Ensure you spend time with business leaders to agree the role they will play and the expectations of them in demonstrating the behaviours you want to see.
Enable new habits to form – It’s easy to state the changes you expect to see and the consequences for not adhering to those. However, behavioural science has repeatedly shown that positive reinforcement over punishment is by far the best strategy for changing behaviours. Celebrate achievements as you go and shine the spotlight on behaviours you’d like to see more of. Consider altering your reward schemes in a way that recognises and encourages the desired behaviours.
4. Sustain changes for the long-term
Your culture will evolve over time, so it’s important to embed and sustain the changes you’ve created. Ensure you:
Conduct regular culture pulse-checks to keep track of the current state of your culture and identify where any old habit may be slipping in!
Align your work systems to your desired culture state. For example, your organisational structure, recruitment processes, performance management processes, and employee benefits.
Provide people with the right training and skills to help them fully adopt new ways of working if capability gaps are showing- this might also require more personal development support such as mentoring and coaching
Take the first step – get in touch with us today to find out how Proud Consulting can support you to reach your business growth aspirations though the power of culture.