How To Change Your Organization’s Culture

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Changing an organization’s culture is not always easy. People want to understand why the change is needed, and need to be motivated to make the change. You’ll also have to allocate resources to make the change happen, and sometimes there are internal politics to deal with. The keys to success are setting aside plenty of time to plan for and introduce the change, and communicating with your organization all along the way.

Table of Contents

Define desired values and behaviors

Do people understand them and how they relate to day-to-day behavior? Come up with behavioral descriptors for each value you define and articulate how those would translate into actionable behaviors at all levels—from secretaries to middle managers to executives, Sabapathy advises.

Align culture with strategy and processes

Do your mission, vision and values line up with your HR processes, including hiring, performance management, compensation, benefits and the promotion of talent?

Winning People Over

Get some influential allies. Don’t expect to convert everyone at once. Find some people who are on board with the changes you want to make, and draw on them to help you convince others. That way, the job won’t be entirely on you.

  • For instance, if you want to introduce flexible schedules into your organization’s schedule, have team leaders discuss the benefits with their groups before making the change.

Assessing Change

Set aside plenty of time for the change to take place. Schedule when the change will start, but don’t expect everything to fall into place right away. Leave time for a transition between the old way and the new, and be patient.

  • For instance, if you’re creating a more “open” culture at your organization, where everyone physically works together, expect it to take time for people to get used to a more active workspace.

Communicate the results of your change

Host a meeting or distribute a newsletter. Discuss how the change has been going, where it has been successful, and if there are still areas to work on. Getting this sort of perspective after the change is in place helps people trust your leadership and believe in the change.

  • For instance, you might let your organization know that the survey results indicate employees feel like it has become easier to communicate with upper management. However, the survey also shows that employees still feel it’s difficult to communicate openly with people at equal rank.
How To Change Your Organization’s Culture

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