There is a booming business in corporate culture advisory services these days, as it’s a critical element in successful business growth and evolution.
Consultants, whose big task is trying to make workers and management happier, are retained but often leave without actually changing anything.
Clearly, if organizations are going to stay competitive and become more cost-efficient, they must evolve. Even just to keep up, change has to happen.
We hear the word flexibility a lot, but flexibility in itself doesn’t enable productive changes in business culture. In fact, in some environments, flexibility may not be required at all but change may still be.
Change needs a context and a set of actions which provide direction. Then it will need a feedback mechanism to tell management about how well the changes succeeded.
What’s Stopping Cultural Growth?
The bottom line in all resistance is a lack of confidence and/or institutional inertia. Whether a CEO or customer-facing staff members, if we believe we can’t handle the outcome of change, we’ll resist it. We prefer the comfort and certainty of the status quo. So, studying and easing resistance is job #1. Ease resistance by beginning with small successes, building confidence and demonstrating how the cultural change will succeed.
I’m challenging you to analyze your current company culture, discover its components and help reshape attitudes and processes. Business process improvement is how most businesses are creating a competitive advantage – so they’ll still be around tomorrow. And governments are facing growing pressure to optimize their workflow and costs. Yes, unions, politicians, and regulations pose issues, but you can rise above that.
Build Motivation by Communicating Benefits
What if your business is threatened by a lack of growth or progress in culture? Will good employees leave? Will profitability fall? Will costs rise? Will each employee feel their contribution is less important? Will employees lose confidence in management?
The first thing you need to improve company culture is to build motivation. Assess the threats and add up the benefits of specific action. Company management mired in a stagnant culture, does not think about these things. But you’re ready to do this!
To change culture, you need to break routine (Disrupt), and use that to alter stagnant perceptions and self-images. Motivation will come when people understand how they fit in and how they can help or excel. Confidence eases concerns.
The Top Ten Things We can Do to Improve Our Company Culture
- Ask employees what changes they feel may work and implement some of them
- Consider your employees your first customers: ask them what makes them happy and what they need
- Articulate the company’s mission and vision
- Talk more about the company’s goals – workers need a solid view of the future because they’re not business visionaries.
- Make employees more aware of company challenges and needs
- Publish blog posts on the positive rewards of improvement and change
- Invite new ideas and reward innovation
- Have special fun days spent together far away from the office
- Make fun things accessible but don’t force them onto staff
- Create collaboration and the tools to support it so that all voices have the opportunity to be heard
- These ten tips for cultural improvement should help considerably. Of course, there are other techniques, such as withdrawing support for old systems, habits, and outcomes (e.g., put limits on
- paper use for meetings, or putting limits on time for meetings). People need to be aware of how their current processes aren’t working and are costing the company significantly. Tying salary
- increases to productivity gains might be another one.
Please do tell us about your work culture and what is preventing growth and evolution in your company.
Check out these additional posts on culture change: