Changing Culture in Your Organization: A Guide

A workplace’s culture can affect the level of productivity and collaboration that employees demonstrate daily. Employers who regularly assess and adjust their organization’s culture ensure teams and departments can be productive, engaged and satisfied in the work they do.


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What is workplace culture?

Workplace culture is the general attitude and practices that employees take on when performing their job duties and includes factors such as accountability, dependability, teamwork, motivation and productivity. Workplace culture has a significant impact on these factors, meaning a positive workplace culture can contribute to the overall success of a business.

Related: How to Motivate Your Employees


How to change the workplace culture in your organization

Here are steps you can apply to change the culture of your organization and make it a productive and positive place for your employees to work:


1. Establish your goals and values

Review your company’s mission statement, and consider its purpose and target audiences, as well as how they contribute to your company goals. For example, a clothing company might identify its purpose as creating versatile clothes for men and women between the ages of 18 and 30. The company’s goals might include expanding its customer base by creating clothing for children and preteens.


2. Compare current practices to these values

Look at your company’s current practices to see how they contribute to those goals and values. For example, if your company promises a healthy work-life balance to employees, review the hours you require your employees to work each day, your overtime policy and paid holidays they receive.


3. Revise current practices to align with your company values

Devise a plan to restructure your current practices and realign them with the purpose, goals and values of your company. Consider using HR software or other online tools to help you outline your plan and set specific metrics for improvement. This helps you get organized and form a strong foundation for changes you plan to make to your company culture.


4. Coordinate with department heads on implementation

It is essential to communicate with your department heads to successfully change the company culture and create a consistent practice across each area of your business. You can schedule weekly or monthly meetings to learn about what they see within their individual departments that need change, like better communication, motivation or inclusivity.


5. Invest in professional resources to aid change

Invite an HR consultant to give a talk on positive workplace culture, or invest in an online course about company culture for your employees. Using these resources can help educate your employees on how to create a positive work environment.


6. Know that beneficial change takes time

In order for you to create a beneficial work environment that promotes employee productivity and overall company success, you should use time to your advantage. Allow for the implementation of a few changes at a time so that your employees can get used to new communication channels or incentive programs before implementing other changes.


7. Monitor employee satisfaction with changes

To evaluate how your employees are responding to the new changes, consider sending out an email survey or holding a company-wide meeting. This helps you refine the changes you made while also seeing which of your goals are starting to become a part of your business’s daily practices.

Related: Changing the Organizational Culture of Your Business


Tips for changing company culture

You can effectively change your company culture by following these additional tips:

  • Include employees in the decision-making process to provide valuable input on factors that affect them most since they dictate company culture through their attitudes and daily habits.
  • Implement the most apparent changes first to allow your employees ample time to adapt before introducing even more change.
  • Hire candidates who align with your new values by establishing specific recruiting metrics for your HR department to determine the best candidates who model your new cultural expectations.
  • Consider changes to your workplace culture as continuous evolutions as you gain new team members and create new procedures.


Frequently asked questions about organizational culture

Here are some frequently asked questions about changing culture in the workplace:


What is the framework for integrating culture?

The framework for integrating culture is an eight-step system that helps you monitor changes made to your company culture and what your next step should be. These include:

  1. Defining the attitudes that your business needs to succeed
  2. Ritualizing to incorporate these beliefs and attitudes into your daily business practices
  3. Selecting job candidates who have the same beliefs and values you want to incorporate into your company culture
  4. Integrating new hires into your company values by providing them with in-depth onboarding activities
  5. Communicating your company culture by incorporating slogans, mission statements and other company sayings throughout the workplace.
  6. Coaching to help educate your employees on best workplace practices
  7. Leading to exhibit the beliefs and attitudes of your company in your daily interactions with your employees
  8. Driving to keep your company motivated to make changes by conducting performance evaluations and creating incentive programs


How can an employer maintain company culture during a merger?

Employers can ensure a smooth transition for new employees from another branch by: 

  • Creating an extensive onboarding process where new employees learn about their new office, culture and values
  • Scheduling team-building opportunities that connect employees from each side of the company
  • Establishing a team to guide employees through the merger made up of HR representatives, department heads and team leads or supervisors


Is rebranding the same concept as changing company culture?

Rebranding and changing company culture are different terms in that rebranding is the process by which a company restructures its external appearance, such as a new logo, slogan or products. In contrast, changing company culture refers to restructuring internal practices such as company productivity and attitudes to align with external practices such as company slogans.


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