Changing the Organizational Culture of Your Business

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  • What is organizational culture change?
  • The benefits of change
  • How to change your organizational culture
  • Culture change FAQs

A company’s organizational culture is defined by its shared values, beliefs and ways of doing things. Organizational culture is reflected in the roles, objectives, communication processes and assumptions of the business. At times, a business may wish to change its organizational culture. To do this, leaders must be prepared, as the methods used to change a culture are as critical to success as the change itself.


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What is organizational culture change?

Organizational culture change is the process of transforming how employees interact, perform their jobs, carry themselves, and behave.  Culture defines an organization, and like people, organizations have unique personalities that evolve over time. 

When leaders decide to change an organization’s culture, they may need to redefine every aspect of the business – for example, how employees are hired and trained, the verbiage that is commonly used, how products are marketed and sold and how individual roles are defined. 


The benefits of change 

Many factors drive an organization’s decision to change their culture.  For example, a business may recognize that changes in technology or the marketplace require adjustments to its processes or that employees embrace new ways of thinking. 

Regardless of the reason, a culture change in the right direction can bring many benefits to your business, including:


Improved morale

A strong organizational culture motivates employees and increases morale, which in turn, allows you to build trust, team loyalty and pride in the the company. 

One way to help foster a positive organizational culture is to recognize and reward employees’ efforts. This encourages them to contribute to the growth of the business, leading to company-wide benefits and better relationships between employees and management.


Better customer service 

When you integrate an improved culture,  you give managers better tools to manage employees.  This, in turn, improves the ways they relate to customers and each other. Satisfied customers are likely to buy more, feel loyal toward your business, and recommend it to others.  


Increased innovation

A successful culture change inspires innovation because employees who see their employers as open, tend to bring new ideas to company processes.  And, as your employees increase their engagement, you may notice significant improvements in your operations.

Related: How to Motivate Your Employees


Increased profits

If your culture change is positive, your company’s performance and productivity should improve.  

And, the longer you maintain a positive organizational culture, the higher your profits may rise as employees increase their productivity levels.  

You should also teach your employees cost control as you implement change. An increased awareness of a company’s financial health is beneficial because employees who are well-informed make better decisions, which decreases costs. 


How to change your organizational culture

Your business will tell you if your organization needs to change. Signs include low employee retention, lack of productivity and commitment. Rather than making small improvements, it’s often smarter and more cost-effective to change culture broadly. Use these tips:


1. Evaluate your current culture

This involves evaluating your current culture thoroughly and finding crucial performance priorities. Here, you will have to identify some behavioral weaknesses or outdated processes that could be keeping your company from achieving its full potential.

If you want to improve your company’s overall performance, you will have to define your vision and set two or three performance priorities. This will give you an advantage in how you leverage your company’s strengths and improve its weaknesses.


2. Align processes

The next step is to align processes to support the performance priorities you’ve identified. For example, if growth is your first priority, achieve it through processes that help you develop new products and services, increased sales and more effective sales strategies.

Always make sure that your team in onboard throughout the process. This will help you obtain the feedback you need to clarify and track key measurements.


3. Plan for implementation

Outline transparent and consistent steps to obtain each goal. This significantly improves the performance journey and helps employees feel that they are part of the process.  


Organizational culture FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about the organizational culture change: 


How is organizational culture different from the organization’s vision and mission?

The vision is the desired end state, while the mission is the main purpose of the business. Your organizational culture is the way you do things to achieve both. 


Is culture the product of employees?

It often is. It often is. When your company culture isn’t clearly articulated, it’s easy for employees to bring habits and behaviors from previous jobs. Or, they may follow the lead of a department head or manager. That’s why it’s especially important for those in leadership positions to define culture and set good examples for others. 



Is changing the organizational culture a long and complicated process?

No. When properly planned, an organizational transformation takes a year or less.



Is it possible to target and change the culture of certain departments?

Yes. It’s possible that you may only need to implement organizational culture changes in certain parts of your company, whereas others may be performing well.


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