How To Change Company Culture in Your Organization

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published March 1, 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employees spend a good portion of their time with their colleagues and supervisors at work. A positive and supportive company culture often keeps employees loyal to the organization in the long-term. Knowing how to change and improve your company's culture can help you retain employees and maximize your recruiting efforts. In this article, we explain what company culture is, describe the importance of company culture and provide steps for changing company culture.

Related: Guide To Company Culture

What is company culture?

Company culture is a combination of behaviors, attitudes and interactions that establish an overarching feeling within an organization. Company culture often stems from the business's leadership—lower-level employees tend to emulate the way company leaders speak to and interact with one another and other employees. Factors like company policies, inter-organizational transparency and motivational tactics can also affect a company's overall culture.

Related: What Is Company Culture? (With Examples)

Why is company culture important?

Company culture is important for a multitude of reasons. As a manager, you want your employees to feel comfortable and supported while at work. Consider these benefits and advantages to working for an organization with a positive company culture:

  • Happier employees: When employees feel supported and appreciated at work, they're far more likely to enjoy performing their job, which leads to overall higher happiness levels at work.

  • Satisfied customers: Customers enjoy working with employees who clearly like their jobs and believe in their workplace. Positive company culture often leads to higher customer satisfaction.

  • Increased revenue: As the organization sees more satisfied customers and higher employee happiness levels, there's likely to be an increase in revenue as a result.

  • Growth opportunities: With higher profits and more customers, the organization may have additional growth and development opportunities than it would without the same company culture.

  • Higher productivity: Employees who enjoy coming to work are less likely to take personal days away from the office and more likely to maintain high levels of productivity in their roles.

  • Maximized recruitment: Positive company culture is a useful recruitment perk when sourcing potential new employees. Candidates want to work for an organization that trusts and supports its workers.

  • Healthier staff members: Employees who work for a company with a positive company culture often experience better work-life balance and lower stress levels, all of which contribute to healthier workers who need to take less sick time off work.

  • Better reputation: The company itself often benefits from fostering a positive company culture by enjoying an excellent reputation in the marketplace with both industry peers and customers.

Related: 34 Words Describing Company Culture

How to change company culture

Company leaders may set the tone for the overall company culture, but managers and supervisors often have the ability to shift and improve company culture. If you want to enhance your organization's company culture, follow these steps and use these strategies to help you:

1. Understand the current culture

Before you can make any changes to your organization's culture, you have to understand the current positives and negatives. Spend some time making observations and reflecting on your own experiences to determine what's working about your current company culture and what could use improvement.

2. Talk to your employees

Speak with your peers and team members to better understand how others view the internal company culture. Have an open and transparent discussion about the company's culture. Identify shared points of pride and common areas for improvement. Open communication is the best way to get a true understanding of how the company culture affects everyone.

3. Identify where you want to go

Once you've established areas for improvement, determine what you'd like to see instead. For example, if your organization struggles with consistent communication, then a goal might be to establish transparent communication processes that involve everyone in the company.

4. Maximize actions

After creating a few concrete goals for improving the company's culture, identify specific action steps you and others in your organization can take to achieve these goals. If possible, include others in the organization in this action development process.

5. Ensure agreement

Make sure you're regularly communicating with others in the organization to ensure they're willing to commit to the action steps you've identified and outlined. To achieve success and actually shift a company's culture takes group effort and commitment. Make sure you have that before embarking on making the actual changes.

6. Develop effective programs

In addition to establishing action steps related to organizational culture goals, another useful strategy for improving company culture is creating effective programs to help keep all organizational members on track. Ensure any incentive or motivational programs you create you're prepared to continue pursuing and utilizing for consistency.

7. Make transparency a priority

Most organizations with commendable company cultures are highly transparent with their employees and their customers. If your business is not transparent, make that a top priority goal. In most cases, improving transparency is one of the best ways to improve overall company culture.

8. Seek regular input

As you implement strategies and programs to help make your company's culture more positive, regularly check in with all company employees. One of the best ways to ensure your organization is on track to meet your culture goals is to understand how the members of the organization feel as change takes place.

9. Maximize motivators

Determine what motivates your employees to be productive and want to stay with the company. Happy employees who feel supported and respected will help improve the company's culture simply through their own personal job satisfaction, often as much as dedicated programs and action plans.

10. Support relationship development

Another strategy to improve company culture is to create opportunities for employees to develop personal and professional relationships with one another. Having friends and friendly colleagues at work often improves individual employees' happiness and job satisfaction, leading to improved company culture.

11. Highlight positive behaviors

As your company progresses through the established action steps to improve company culture, highlight and praise any employees who demonstrate acceptable and appropriate behavior that aligns with the company's new cultural goals.

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