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3 experts' advice on changing workplace culture

Posted by Hannah Price | 4 min read

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So, your workplace culture needs to change. Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.

Before we begin, it’s worth clarifying that changing your workplace culture is something you can do.

If you’re in any position of power—a manager, a team leader, or someone who has the ear of a leader—you can effect change.

And remember, if your workplace culture sucks, then it’s worth changing.

Culture has a major impact on everything from employee engagement to productivity. It gives people a sense of belonging and self worth in their workplace.

To help you guide this change, here are three insightful articles from company culture and employee engagement gurus. 

3 expert insights on changing workplace culture

1. Take an honest look at your culture

Culture expert, Jamie Notter, provides a three step approach to changing your culture with a real-life example of one of his clients.

Here’s a snapshot of his three pieces of advice.

1. Understand your culture. Before you start making changes, you need to understand what your company culture truly is. “I’m not talking about vague terms like ‘we’re a family here,’ or ‘we’re all about results.’ I mean, how does your culture demonstrate and achieve transparency, agility, innovation, and inclusion?”

2. Align your culture with what drives your success. The next step is to start aligning that with what makes you successful. So many organizations skip this step, but it’s crucial to ensure your organizational culture change is relevant.”

3. Take real action. The next step is to make a change. A real change.” Jamie emphasizes how you should come out of this process with some real and tangible changes to the way you do what you do, and how your company supports this.

If you want to explore this article in-full, check it out.

2. Make your changes stick

But, what if changing your workplace culture doesn’t stick? Len Markidan gives us three tips on how to make your workplace culture changes lasting:

1. Start with why. Your team needs to understand why changes are happening. "If you want to build lasting change, everyone involved must understand why it’s in their best interest."

2. Engage your team. For company culture changes to last, everyone has to live them. But, it can’t be a mandate that you simply instruct people to follow. So, talk to your team, engage them in conversation, and demonstrate your culture change.

3. Take baby steps. Be patient and don’t try to rush the process. Shifting your culture will take time, so slowly make changes and allow people to move with you through your culture transformation.

Click here if you want to check out this article in full.

3. Use your powerful influencers

Although this article centers on employee engagement, the message is noteworthy and equally applies to company culture: empower your middle managers to make change, because they’re powerful influencers.

Leadership expert Shawn Murphy says:

At the team level, direct managers have the greatest influence on workplace climate. The good news is that these middle managers have a lot of options to change the climate in their teams.

To do this, he offers three things managers can do:

1. Create clarity. Leaders intentionally and consistently set out to ensure team priorities, expectations, and goals are known and understood. Employees receive ongoing feedback on their progress.

2. Focus on well-being. Check in with employees to understand how their workload is impacting them. Specifically look for symptoms of weak work recovery. Work recovery is the discipline of “turning off” work when at home.

3. Create psychological safety. Promote curiosity in other team members’ ideas and teach them to engage in open dialogue to develop stronger solutions.

Check out the full article to explore these ideas further.

Conclusion

Changing workplace culture can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Just be sure to slow down and take in some expert advice before you embark on the long journey to shifting your culture.

 

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