What Is Cultural Transformation?
Many people are hesitant to change. When you have been at a company for five or more years, you develop a routine, a way of doing things that can be hard to diverge from. However, as the world becomes increasingly more global and has a new generation of employees, many companies must undergo cultural transformation in order to remain relevant. Cultural transformation is a dynamic process of irreversibly changing the outlook of an organization. Along with that comes change in policies, processes and behaviors, resulting in a more effective mode of operation. Forbes contributor Jacob Morgan believes that companies need to act more like laboratories and less like factories: “Factories are notorious for being linear and process centric,” he argues, whereas laboratories “use data to make informed decisions, and they are continuously experimenting.”
According to Barrett Values Centre, “Cultural transformation starts with the personal transformation of leaders. Organizations do not transform. People do.” This transformation creates an entirely new path for the future that is built upon the past. It looks at the values, beliefs, and behaviors of a company. It looks at how employees think, what they think about, and how they act. Culture is a difficult thing to change as it develops over time, but it is necessary to have a competitive edge. A majority of employers (73%) believe a great corporate culture gives their organizations a competitive edge.
Why is this important to your business?
The Center for Creative Leadership’s Leading Insights study finds that “Rapid organizational change is the number two leadership development challenge in the next two to five years.” Building an employer brand and company culture help companies increase qualified candidates, increase diverse candidates, increase employee referrals and initially hire the right people (SHRM). With the right work environment, your employees will want to come to work every day, making them less likely to quit. Given that it costs thousands of dollars to train and recruit new employees each year, keeping your current employees happy makes solid business sense.
How does cultural transformation happen?
Organizational culture consists of the core values, norms and expected behaviors that influence how people go about their jobs and interact with one another in the workplace. Norms and behaviors are aspects that must be reviewed and reshaped, as necessary, to ensure that they support the organization’s goals and values. Here are three key steps to beginning a cultural transformation.
- Find out what’s working in the business and what’s not.In order to figure out what needs to change, you have to take stock of what is working and what needs to be further discussed and changed. You need to look at the processes, procedures and interactions that happen on a daily basis and figure out if they align with the overall corporate strategy. A cultural assessment of the entire organization will give you a roadmap for transformation and allow you to identify the areas that are in need of great overhaul.
- Move away from values to changing behaviors.
- Values are a company’s principles, what is important to the company, and are deeply embedded in an organization’s foundation. Employee, manager, and leader behaviors are what create and solidify the values of a company. In order to create change, you have to focus on behaviors. One can only change two to three behaviors at a time. Starting small by having leaders and management change behaviors here and there will create a standard for new behavior that can snowball into cultural transformation.
- Great leadership is key.
- To successfully change your culture, you not only have to change the behaviors of the current leaders, but you also need to change the values and legacy of past leaders that are embedded in the organization’s policies, systems, and structures. Leaders who build great working environments, instill trust, communicate effectively and are consistent with their behaviors create positive cultural transformation. Creating two-way communication, rather than just corporate speeches and newsletters, makes time for reflection, questions, and overall engagement. Great leadership is critical to sustained positive cultural transformation and, ultimately, the longevity of the organization.
Organizations that thrive are those that are best able to align their culture with their strategy. It all begins by transforming the people within the organization, the current supervisors, managers, and leaders, as well as the legacy of past leaders. While change can be difficult, our team of industry experts at CoreAxis can help. They can assist in transforming the values at the core of your company’s policies, procedures, incentives and systems, and provide you with a capable company culture that encourages growth and productivity. Want to learn more about transforming culture within your firm? Click here to contact a CoreAxis specialist who will give you a customized plan for cultural transformation based on your inquiry!
The information contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No information (or possible omissions) contained in this article shall be considered legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is established.