How to Roll Out Culture Change Effectively
2020 - the year we all stayed home. Also the year that the world dramatically changed! Whether your business has had to adjust its working hours, on-site safety measures, or battle with supply chain disruptions, COVID-19 has undoubtedly challenged your regular operations, and your team, in some way.
One of these changes may well be your company culture so let's explore how to roll out culture change effectively.
1. Gather feedback
Changing your company culture can be daunting! It can make or break a business. We don’t mean to scare you, but it really does need careful planning. It also involves the entire team! It’s absolutely essential that you gather feedback from other people within the business too. You need to seek their input, not only regarding the current company culture, but you need their views too on the design and implementation of the consequent changes.
There are many ways you can collect their feedback, such as surveys. Sending out surveys is a great way to collect feedback as your employees can submit it anonymously. Some people don’t always feel confident giving honest feedback so having the opportunity to do this anonymously will encourage honesty. By analysing the results of these surveys you can identify trends and patterns.
Another way to collect feedback from your employees is by hosting focus groups. These are a great way to not only have an open and honest conversation but also a chance to bring people together who may not normally work together.
2. Make gradual changes
Good things don’t happen overnight! It might take weeks, even months, to implement the changes, but that’s ok. It’ll also make things easier for your employees. You don’t want to make drastic changes that scare them into thinking their old workplace no longer exists. Adjusting to change can be challenging for some people, so make sure you phase your culture change and take your time. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
3. Make it fun!
Change doesn’t have to be scary or boring. Introducing fun and games to help employees participate and support the change will make the whole process a lot easier. Whether this be prizes, scoreboard or competitions, just to name but a few ideas, your employees will feel a lot less resistant to change if they’re having fun.
A few tips to remember:
- Understand that people are unique. Their motivators are unique too. There’s no one-size-fits-all and, when considering change implementation, you need to consider the individual.
- Recognise internal or intrinsic motivators. Although people’s drivers may be unique, they are all motivated by a sense of ‘connection’ to your company. This means feeling that their work has a purpose. It may, at times, be challenging, but providing employees can feel the value and impact of their efforts, then this will strengthen the bond and loyalty they feel towards your organisation.
- Understand the value of external or extrinsic motivators. This could be salaries, bonuses, or tangible rewards, or even simple personal expressions of gratitude. Research has shown time and again that, in the long term, cash incentives are the least effective. Rewarding them with something personal to them is more thoughtful and memorable.
- Create intentional ‘connectedness’. You can do this by investing long-term in all kinds of professional development – such as training, career-pathing, well-being and personal growth. This will create a long-lasting culture of recognition, trust and goodwill.
- Communication- rinse and repeat. Employees need to know where they stand. They need to appreciate how they fit into their company’s objectives. How can they gain this understanding if no one tells them? You need to develop a communication strategy that reinforces their role, their value and the company’s expectations – again and again. Once is not enough.
2020 has been the year of the catalyst. For many companies, the opportunities thrown up by the pandemic have been many and varied. The vision and open-mindedness your company demonstrates in evaluating and adapting the culture in which your company operates will surely impact dramatically on its long-term prosperity.