April 28, 2020 | 3-minute read (550 words)
A culture transformation at an established business cannot happen overnight. It’s a large-scale undertaking that takes strategy and planning, which starts at the top and flows down to the entire organization. But before you decide to make any changes, determine why a cultural change is needed — only then you will be able to decide how to influence the change.
Analyze What Needs to Change
Start with looking at your core values and make sure hey still work for your company. Then, ask your employees what they think. Get feedback early and often. You can gather feedback in the following ways:
- Conduct an employee engagement survey to get the pulse on how motivated, passionate and invested your staff members are in your company.
- Interview your employees to get an understanding of what issues they may be facing. Ask them for their thoughts and opinions on the type of culture they’d like to see moving forward.
- Set up an open-door policy to ensure anyone can come and talk to you.
- Look for non-verbal clues. Pay attention to how your employees behave and interact with each other.
Implement the Change
After you’ve identified the areas for improvement, develop a strategy, set up a timeline and establish benchmarks to gauge your progress. Rework your core values so they align with your current culture and are structured enough to guide its evolution.
You might consider the following guidelines for improving your company culture:
- Call attention to the importance of the company mission, vision and values.
- Lead by example. For example, if you’d like your employees to wear formal clothes, do not show up at the office in jeans and a T-shirt.
- Reward your employees for sticking to and promoting your company values.
- Don’t encourage counterproductive behaviors. It will give your employees the idea that you are not serious about the values you’ve established.
- Hire people not just based on their skills, but also who they are.
- Decide on the perks you will offer your employees — paid leave on their birthday, flexible work options, etc.
Measure the Progress
What gets measured gets managed. While culture is an intangible aspect of any business, there are certain metrics that can be used to check its effectiveness. Some of the ways you can evaluate your company’s new culture are:
- Check whether the changes that you have made have had any impact on overall business revenue, customer growth, retention and so on.
- Look for internal signs to see if your employees seem happier and more productive. According to a recent survey, 85 percent of CEOs and CFOs believe that an unhealthy company culture leads to unethical behavior.
- If the changes made are connected to numbers, such as if the target is to build a more customer-centric company, quantify it by measuring customer satisfaction for sales and support conversations.
A plan means very little without proper execution and evaluation. And to sustain any positive changes, it is essential for you to understand whether the changes are being adopted, whether they are making any difference, whether there is any relapse or whether things need to be improved. So keep the feedback loop open in the form of interviews and surveys to ensure you don’t end up with another culture that still does not work.