CULTURE CHANGE WITHIN THE WORKPLACE​

Broadly speaking, culture describes the norms, languages, ideas, tradition, tools amongst other things that characterizes and epitomizes a society, often transmitted from one generation to another. In a cooperate and business setting, culture is also said to exist since an organization can be likened to any other kind of community, because various factors that define it can equally influence each other. For example, skills and norms, tools and people, and several other factors that can work in unison or alone to influence each other. Therefore, when aiding or implementing a culture change, it is crucial to consider the overall effect it is going to have on other elements that can equally influence culture.

Based on the conventional definition of culture, a cultural shift in an organization denotes but is not limited to a modification, change or removal of certain workplace beliefs, practices, policies, values, attire, skill sets, language and aesthetics. Due to its longstanding impact on behavior and motivation, an organizational cultural change often involves a review or change in the way employees are expected to work or achieve work-related goals.

If an executive or manager decides to modify, change or review the company culture, they must first enshrine attributes, values or beliefs that they wish to communicate and present to the rest of the organization in their own work and behavior. Ultimately, trickling down to the rest of the organization and thus effecting change. Organizational culture may be affected by a change in leadership, vision or in response to changes in the industry, economy or other external factors.

It is pertinent to add that cultural changes in the workplace aren’t an overnight act and patterns and behaviors that are almost certainly a foundation of how an organization functions or has been functioning may take a considerable while to influence or change. Encouraging employees to believe in a vision, policy or practice you aim to establish chiefly entails that you have a good understanding of the factors that can influence or predispose them to change.

As such, organizations cannot overlook the key metrics and factors that affect employee motivation. Any positive culture change must also take into account the factors that can drive employees, influence their erstwhile habits and encourage them to align with a vision that will transform the company’s fortune and reputation.

BELOW ARE FIVE WAYS THAT A CULTURE CHANGE CAN BE SUCCESSFULLY EFFECTED IN THE WORKPLACE

Understand how motivation works

Humans are largely different both behaviorally and psychologically, thus, a one-size-fits all approach to motivation where there is a standard reward or incentive to achieve set goals may not be very effective. What is however important, is finding the right balance, of motivation and incentives that can appeal to a wide range of employees in your organization. Companies can begin by creating a leadership and employee focus group assessment with the intention of unravelling the best motivators and incentives that can trigger significant change in employee performance.

Introduce an Immanent form of motivation.

Studies have revealed that regardless of the difficulty, size or scope of a task, employees that feel connected to an organization, and involved in meaningful work will be driven by an innate form of motivation. While the task or role may not necessarily make the employee happy, the fact that they believe that they are involved in something bigger than them, something they share a deep connection with, can give them a deep sense of purpose to carry on with their role and discharge their duties diligently. Sharing a tangible meaning and connection to an organization can serve as the nexus that motivates employees to work in line with the company’s culture and vision.

External motivation is also important

Since motivation is a subject, that is both individualized and broad, it is important to also recognize the importance of several external motivators like bonuses, allowances, rewards amongst others. While external motivation is important, it is important to point out that in many situations, it has proved to not be a long-term solution. This is why it is vital to blend a combination of both internal and external forms of motivation; as they serve as avenues through which companies can offer their employees a deeper meaning and connection, which in turn can lead to an increase in motivation.

Deepen connection with employees.

Leadership or company executives can help deepen the connection that employees share with the organization by encouraging a culture that is also invested in the personal and career interest of its employees. Organizations should aim to invest in their employees by offering educational, professional, health and career-pathing contributions to their employees. Building a culture that aims to continuously develop and recognize the ability, goodwill and achievements of employees can help to deepen the internal connection that is shared between the organization and employees. Furthermore, Standout performers and outstanding behaviors should also be acknowledged, rewarded and encouraged in like fashion both in groups and individuals.

Communicate the Vision

Employees need to understand their roles and how exactly they are contributing to the company’s objectives. Simply reiterating this when the company hires new recruit, or once a year at its annual dinner isn’t going to cut it. Rather, aim to organize week or month-long campaigns multiple times a year to reinforce and enshrine what is expected and understood of employees and their roles, and how they fit into the company’s plan and objectives.

An organization’s culture will to a large extent define how its employees will perceive, react to and work towards the vision and mission of the establishment to achieve set goals and objectives. In addition, it inherently sets the tone for excellence in the workplace.