The culture in an organization refers to the prevailing attitude, mindset, beliefs, and instinctive behavior of people within that organization. It describes the general disposition of employees and employers towards one another, their work, their clients, and other stakeholders.
In essence, a company’s culture shows the “personality” of the company.
A good/bad company culture affects everything within the company, from the happiness level and comradeship of the employees and employers to the quality of work delivered and even the public perception.
With that being said, most employees believe that culture change in an organization is a job best left to top management or the HR department. After all, it can be tough getting people to act in a certain way, change the way they think, or how well they perform their work when you are not the one paying their salary or conducting performance reviews.
But still, even as an employee, there are several proven ways you can drive culture change within your team and your organization.
What are these ways, you ask?
1. Communicate your ideas
If there is a change in work culture you seek to drive in your company, attempt to communicate it effectively to your colleagues and your boss.
This communication does not simply stop at “Hey, why don’t we do things this way.”
Rather, it goes as far as convincing them of the need to change their work attitudes and belief systems to adopt the one you are proposing. One way to do this is by showing them the results a competing company has achieved by adopting the culture change you are proposing.
2. It starts with you
Anyone can talk, but not everyone can make good on their words. It is therefore essential that whatever change you want to effect in your workplace should start with you.
For instance, if you seek to drive good employee-employer relationships within your company, how you interact with your colleagues and show your care for them is vital. If you want to pass across a message about improving job performance, then you must pay attention to the way you carry out your job and the tasks assigned to you.
It is nothing short of hypocritical to expect others to have a better attitude and mindset at work when you are no different. [Tweet that]
3. Motivate them
Little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
If you have team members who are making efforts to change their work culture for the better, you can motivate them to do better by giving them small “gifts” now and then. These gifts do not have to be physical items and you need not empty your account.
It could be as simple as a pat on the back or words of encouragement. Whatever gift you choose to give, your aim should be to pass across the point that you see what they are doing/have done and appreciate their effort.
People like to be appreciated and recognized. So doing things like these can encourage them to do better next time.
4. Don’t be quick to criticize
While you should be quick to acknowledge a colleague’s effort towards a positive shift in work culture, you should not be quick to condemn one with a wrong attitude.
People generally dislike being shamed or criticized, especially in public or by someone they believe they do not have to listen to. Constantly criticizing your teammates or boss will make you appear overbearing and drive them away from you, straining your relationships with them.
Eventually, you won’t be able to convince them or drive home your point. So, rather than criticizing, consider employing the sandwich approach. The sandwich approach simply means that you start by acknowledging something good about them. You can offer a compliment or provide some form of positive feedback. You then follow up with your observation on the area of improvement after which you conclude with another compliment or affirmation.
5. Take it one change at a time
Don’t try to change everything wrong with your company at once, or else it may prove a difficult and almost impossible task. Instead, take it one step at a time.
You can do this by first making a list of changes you want to effect in your company, according to the degree of importance. Then, you zero in on the culture change you currently seek to drive and list the steps that must be taken to achieve it.
By doing this, you focus your full attention and energy on each task as you gradually effect the desired changes in your place of work.
6. Be patient and persistent
By nature, people resist new developments, especially when they see no reason to change.
This presupposes that driving a culture change in your workplace requires lots of patience and a never-give-up attitude, even when your teammates and bosses are resisting the change.
Being patient and persistent in driving change will involve constantly supporting and encouraging your teammates even when they fail or make mistakes. By bearing in mind that the change you want to see will not happen suddenly, you can be calm and persistent, even in the face of opposition and hostility.
7. Seek to drive culture changes that align with the company’s values
The changes you seek to promote should be in sync with the established values of the company.
Do not try to introduce a work culture that goes against what your company stands for, or else your teammates and bosses may begin to perceive you as a threat to the company.
Whatever changes you want to drive should be such that your teammates can easily comprehend and understand them in line with the already known principles of the company.
8. Drive result-oriented culture
People are quick to align with and apply changes that have proved effective and achieved desired results for others.
Hence you will probably drive the desired culture change in your workplace faster if you can show your teammates and boss that applying the change will cause positive results for them individually and for the company as a whole.
Which of these tips is your favorite and which one would you like to add? Have you ever attempted to implement any of them or are you looking to do so? Share with us in the comments.