I want to Change the Culture in my Organisation - How do I Go about Doing this?

Assess your Organisational Readiness

What is a Positive Culture?

High performance cultures are characterised by the following behaviour:

A positive culture inspires its people, helps performance under pressure, assists in resolving conflict and offers uncompromising service.

What is a Toxic Culture?

A toxic culture operates on rumors instead of information, includes bias, uses innuendo as the method of communication, is filled with suspicion and mistrust and practices discrimination among customers.

What are the Benefits of a Positive Culture?

A positive culture:

How do I Create a Positive Culture?

Changing a culture requires a systematic effort over time. Moving too fast or too slow may interfere with daily operations and become taxing and ultimately wearying.

Successful change management requires:

Specific steps to build a positive culture in your business include:

Knowing Where You Are and Where You Want to Be

The key is to have a clear understanding of where your organisation is today and where it needs to be in the future, based on organisational goals. The clearer you can describe your future and current states, the more successfully the transition will be managed. It is important to be really clear on what changes are required and what the drivers for the change are - why you believe they are necessary.

Obtaining Management Buy-in and Commitment

Senior management commitment is required for any initiative to be successful. In a hierarchical structure, visible modeling behavior and gut-level commitment and involvement of senior management is very important. Mere lip service, a lack of understanding or visible support from the top can frustrate any change efforts. Without their commitment or demonstrated leadership, initiatives stall, fall substantially short of the expectation or just plain fail. Having a management team who is committed and consistent in their behaviour results in organisational change that is quicker, deeper and more sustainable.

Management commitment is more likely to lead to:

Make sure to keep them informed - your management team needs to understand what is going on at all times.

Implementing a Change Strategy

People need to help plan, develop, and experience what is happening within your organisation. To be effective, they need to be a part of any change, not merely hear about it and be expected to adhere to it.

You need to develop an overall strategy with clear, well defined goals. Your strategy needs to include the following elements:

Reviewing and Changing your Strategy

Undertake regular reviews. This requires discipline!

The focus should always be positive whether you are dealing with productivity, quality control or morale. Focusing on scapegoating or recriminating individuals or groups for past mistakes only impedes cultural change.

These reviews are designed to adapt to the changing issues facing your organisation and celebrate successes. There is no "one size fits all"! These reviews help you to:

A Note of Caution - The Purpose should not change! Keep your eyes focused on your ultimate purpose(s). You need to keep the desired state firmly in sight, this will also mean that changes in processes, time lines, and who does what become less of a barrier to change.

How do I Maintain Organisational Change?

Develop an Effective Recruitment Program

How you find and select people will have a lot to do with how you maintain your organisational change initiatives. The high cost of turnover, makes it especially important, when hiring, to engage the right person.

Implement an Induction Programme

The key is to make sure that the first day is a "great" day. Psychologically, people are more open to understanding and adapting to a new "culture" during their first day on the job. Introduction to other key players and exposure to existing policies and procedures is essential during the early stages along with periodic feedback.

Train and Develop your People

Significant time, sufficient energy and support should be given everyone who enters your business. All training programmes should be motivational, as well as informative, whether in a classroom setting or on the job.

A Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development study found that two thirds of organisations admitted insufficient training and development was put in place in the wake of organisational change initiatives. More than half said the training and development implications of change were simply not thought through.

Communicate Clearly and Often

Clear, consistent and constant communication is critical in maintaining any cultural change effort. To be effective, communication - a two-way process - requires feedback and follow-up. Everyone should be encouraged to speak up, ask questions and seek clarification of issues to avoid misunderstandings. In a positive culture, everyone enjoys a sense of belonging and involvement. Use delegation as a way of informing and involving others. In today's sophisticated environment, being able to delegate responsibility, may be crucial in meeting customer expectations and deadlines. Have an "open door" policy along with regular meetings, that include members of management and a sampling of employees, to review major goals, problems and opportunities, and to make sure these are communicated to the rest of the staff.

Recognise and Reward Positive Behaviour

Recognition of both positive and negative behavior, and achievement versus goals, are critical factors in establishing a positive culture. Everyone should have a set of goals and objectives. In a positive culture, praise, recognition and encouragement need to be constant. Incentive programs, whether cash bonuses, a trip, or other award, for meeting and/or exceeding objectives and goals, are also recommended.

It is also important that negative behaviour is addressed. Individuals, who after coaching do not choose, or are unable to embody the positive aspects and goals set forth by your business, will need to be managed out. Often such people will decide on their own to seek employment elsewhere.

Get in Touch with Jump

If you need help, or you answered no or unsure to any of the questions in the assessment tool, then Jump Business Solutions can help you. Phone us on +64 6 754 8987 or +64 27 450 5271 or email info@jump4biz.com and Jump will come to you, discover your needs, and develop a solution that will create real, long-term and positive change for you and your business.