How to Change Your Company Culture

Many business leaders assume they are stuck with the culture that surrounds them. But the opposite is true. If, as a CEO, you are committed to changing the organization’s environment, you CAN make a difference if you follow a few simple, but powerful, change management training and consulting best practices.

  1. First, take a step back and try to define your company’s current culture…the good points and the not-so-good points. Your objective is to accentuate the first and deactivate the second in order to create a culture that breeds success.
  1. Next, as the leader, you need to be genuine. If you seek authenticity, you need to act naturally so your employees get a feel for who you truly are and what you stand for. Live the company values so that they become central to all the decisions you make. Soon you will see others basing their actions on those same values as they follow your model.
  1. Use “carrots” to encourage the behavior you want to promote. Every time an employee exhibits the kind of value system you are trying to instill, be sure to reward them. And this recognition process does not need to be expensive. Most often, a pat on the back, an acknowledgment in front of peers or a simple note of thanks and appreciation will have the desired congratulatory effect.
  1. Fine tune your talent selection and assimilation process. Get involved in hiring to be sure your staff is bringing the best talent aboard that fits. Help to define just what competencies are needed for your company’s future and see that these competencies shape the candidate pool. Then, participate in the orientation process. The faster you can integrate new hires into your workforce, the faster they will be productive and the more engaged they will feel.
  1. Be out there, not behind closed doors. The more you can communicate with your workforce, the more they will feel as if you truly value their contribution. No matter how effective a leader you may be, your employees can feel alienated if you isolate yourself on the top floor. Visit different departments, show an interest in current projects, try to get to know your employees personally…that’s the way to build loyalty.

A winning culture need not be out of reach if you are determined. Foster open communication, see that the company values guide company strategy, model the kind of behavior you want your employees to display, and recognize those who conduct themselves in a way that promotes the culture you seek.

While always difficult, effective and meaningful change is possible.


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