How to Change The Culture of a Company
Daniella Okorobie
how to change the culture of a company

The culture of a company is its personality. The values, goals, practices, and attitudes that characterize an organization. If you own a company or you work in one, you know that a suitable work environment and culture are key to the success of the company. In other words, the staff of the company must understand, accept and love its culture, otherwise, there will be chaos – and lots of it. Ever tried forcing a fish to live out of water? Yeah, you guessed it – you just killed the fellow. 

Similarly, if employees do not fancy a company’s culture or its work environment,  chances are they will do more harm than good – even if they had genuine intentions. Aside from a poor employee or business performance, other reasons such as a change in the external environment and new leadership may warrant changes to a company’s culture. So how do you go about it without sounding like a Debbie Downer or sending the company to rack and ruin? 

Changing The Culture of Company: The Simple Steps

1. Identify and Specify The Set Of Desired Goals, Values, and Attitudes

The first step to changing the culture of a company is to identify what’s wrong with your current culture and clearly define the set of desired values and goals. This is more like knowing the gap between your current culture and the desired culture. Elaborate on the rationale for the culture change and identify any aspect of your current culture that you may want to retain. 

Explain each desired company value so your listeners can understand how they can apply the principles in their day-to-day activities. You may need to use scenarios and role-playing to describe the actionable behavior for each value you define. Explain the behaviors expected from everyone; starting from janitors to managers and the board of directors. You also want to identify the undesired attitudes or behaviors and how they will sabotage the desired company’s culture and success.

2. Incorporate The Culture In Your Strategies, Processes, and Brand.

Ensure that your strategies, processes, and brand identity reflects your company’s visions, mission, and values. Make sure your values are reflected in all company processes including production, marketing, sales, human resources, accounting, internal communication, budgeting, and infrastructure. Your employees, new hires, and your customers should understand, value, and love your corporate culture – it should be part of your brand’s identity. 

Your company’s tactics, plan of action, and strategies should reflect your values and culture. For example, if honesty is a core part of your company’s values then it’s important to take responsibility for any company errors that may have caused customer dissatisfaction or loss. Doing this is especially important in a world where a single viral video could ruin years of an organization’s efforts. 

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3. Make it A Priority Of The CEO And Board of Directors

The CEO and board of directors must understand, accept and relate to the values, goals, and behaviors of the new culture. Therefore it is important to help the board to comprehend the benefits and advantages of implementing the new culture. That way it’s easier to encourage and motivate their subordinates to uphold the values of the new corporate culture. 

4. Encourage Everyone To Make It Their Responsibility

Encourage everyone to take the lead in implementing the new culture of the organization in their day-to-day behavior. Emphasize the need to always set a good example as that will encourage others to step up as well. 

5. Monitor Your Progress But Don’t Sprint It

If you can not see the results of implementing the new culture, chances are sooner or later you will be thinking of changing your corporate culture – again. If you want to know if a set of values and goals are of benefit to employee and organization performance, you need to evaluate your objectives. You need to find a means to assess the impact of the new culture. You can implement talent analyses, employee surveys, and ethics assessments to spot any gaps between preferred and existing practices. Changing the culture of a company takes time – sometimes it takes years. Think of it like a marathon, rather than a sprint race.

In Conclusion

An ideal company culture that focuses on employees and customers doesn’t have to be unattainable. Embrace the challenge of creating a healthy culture for your company but in some effort by doing what is essential. You can achieve it with thorough preparation, regular communication, persistent mirroring of the target behavior, and willingness to make changes if needed.

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