Your organizational culture is evident in three dimensions: visible reminders that symbolize what you stand for, mindsets that reveal the beliefs and attitudes of your staff and visible and invisible behaviors within your company and what triggers them. When you find a discrepancy between these dimensions or find that they are not acceptable, you may desire a change. Therefore, consider these strategies.
Change Behaviors First
Your staff pays very close attention to the actions and reactions of your company’s management. You can share every lofty ideal with your staff, but if your actions don’t back up your words, they will not believe you, and they will follow your actions. You build corporate culture on actions. You can create programs that instill the ideals you desire. However, if you do not act and react in a way that supports and adheres to these ideals, the company will not adopt them.
Therefore, examine your behavior and that of your management. Give them feedback that creates behaviors that your staff can act on, observe, measure and repeat. Show them what actions to take during specific situations. For example, model behaviors that encourage collaboration and empowerment. However, start with a few key actions at first.
Identify and Develop Informal Leaders
You may have observed individuals within your company who do not have titles but whom your employees go to for help, advice and guidance. These individuals are valuable. They can help you motivate your staff and encourage them to seek excellence. They are role models and foster communication within their teams and the organization as a whole.
The great thing about informal leaders is that they can help you change your culture because they will be the first to adopt them. They tend to be eager to adopt new technologies, behaviors and experiments.
Avoid Changing Everything at Once
Company cultures are embedded into the company and staff deeply and are difficult to change all at once. It requires steps and degrees of change. Your culture is not a piece of programming that you can quickly change. It involves many people who have spent, sometimes years, learning how to act in your company. The truth is, no culture is completely bad or good. Instead, all need improvements.
Therefore, take time to evaluate the traits you want to keep and those you want to change. Start slowly, one value at a time. Search for those that are consistently negative or that could lead to corporate or staff harm. Start with these.
These are only three strategies you can use to change your organizational culture. Test them and seek out additional strategies to make your company great.