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Hands holding gears in sunset symbolizes innovation, process, change
ATD Blog

The Art and Science of Changing Company Culture

Thursday, September 9, 2021
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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that having an effective company culture is one of the most important assets a company can have. Many companies give lip service to polishing this asset, but how easy is it to change your company culture? Especially given the climate where the need to return employees to the office is questioned. Is this really the time that employees will want to embrace change?

In truth, this is the best time for culture change. Organizations across the board proved they could change rapidly in a time of great need. Now, they should consider change in areas that benefit them.

What If My Employees Resist Culture Change?

If you’ve failed at changing company culture before, you may run into resistance in your efforts today. Fear not—there is hope. Employees might also fear that they lack the skills and resources to succeed. Others still may fear that they will lose their job if they speak out.

Despite the hesitation, the benefits of a successful culture transformation are immense. Employees care about meaning and motivation. One in three employees say their primary reason for sticking to the job they have is the sense their work is meaningful. In a world that’s been remote for so long, meaning is what keeps bonds between a company and its workers strong.

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Your Roadmap to Company Culture Success

There are five major steps a company can take to make sure its cultural transformation is successful. The first involves setting a strategic imperative. How will your company focus its efforts? In this case, having 50 strategies is the same as having none. Next, establish a compelling vision for the future. What does a successful transformation look like to your company? How will it position you to better serve your market? Then, to ease employee fears, skill training should be part of the transformation. Enable high-performance and career advancement for those already working for you and equip them to meet your vision.

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Furthermore, jobs should be aligned to the new vision. Energize employees to exercise their passion in a way that the company may benefit from. Finally, reward success. Reward systems must align with your vision for the future throughout the organization.

Does your organization need a culture change? Consider the following questions: does the current culture unleash employees’ passions? How does the organization currently deal with barriers to change? Do existing communication systems foster effective communication? These all could be signs.

Learn more about practical steps in changing company culture for the better in the visual deep dive below:

Why Invest in Business Culture Transformation?

About the Author

Brian Wallace is the founder and president of NowSourcing, an industry leading content marketing agency that makes the world's ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present.

4 Comments
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The combination of a good summary and a powerful infographic has made an impact on me. I'm working for a growing company with a dynamic culture and it is a good moment to reflect on how we all have different styles to adapt to change. Thank you for the great article!
Would love to hear more, Julia!
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Great article.
The relationship between organizations and adoption to change is well explained
Thanks so much, Sophia!
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