Project Management

How to start a successful cultural transformation for your company?

date: 12 August 2021
reading time: 6 min

If you want to run a business that is driven by a particular set of values and principles – then you need to make sure you’re on the path to a cultural transformation.

Otherwise, your employees will end up being clueless about the philosophy behind the company that they work for, have no idea what distinguishes their organisation from others in the market, and how they should react in different situations.

That’s why it is so important to start shaping your corporate culture as soon as possible – so you can create one that will be reflected in the way that your employees react and respond to different situations, be visible in your business processes and procedures, as well as in your communication and cooperation with clients and third-party service providers.

You can do this in four – not so easy, but absolutely necessary – steps.

4 steps to start your cultural transformation right

Take a retrospective and introspective look at your organisation.

  • Start talking to your C-level executives as well as all the other employees in your company.
    You need to know how they operate from the inside out: from the business beliefs that guide them through every single decision they make down to the daily routines that they’ve developed over the years. Look at the driving force behind their actions and what makes them tick. You can conduct a series of meetings with your C-level executives and survey all your other employees in order to draw significant conclusions.

  • Analyse your processes and procedures.
    Dive deep into your case studies – find out what propels your business to move forward, which projects were the biggest successes – and why. Maybe you will find a common thread and be able to observe which processes and procedures seem to work better than others. You should also analyse already finished projects. Looking at the results and lessons learnt will help you see where you need to make changes to increase your productivity and success rate.

  • Define your strengths, weaknesses, risks, opportunities, challenges and business objectives.
    You can do a classic SWOT analysis and then take some time to determine your biggest goals and challenges. If you want to culturally transform your organisation, you need to know exactly where you are right now and which direction you want to move in. Without a solid business analysis, you’ll just be groping in the dark.

Prepare a new strategy.

  • Define your new vision and present it to everyone.
    The assessment that you made during the first step will help you determine what you want to achieve and allow you to set new priorities for your organisation. Use this to shape a new vision for your company and present this to your employees – with your managers at the helm – since they will be the ones responsible for implementing your vision and putting your strategy into action.

  • Show your employees how your new strategy is going to positively impact their work.
    In order to succeed with your transformation, it’s extremely important to get all hands on deck. Your employees have to see real value in the new strategy – they need to understand how this is going to positively influence the quality of their work, how it will make various processes more transparent and efficient, and increase their productivity. The more satisfied they are with the plan, the more flawlessly the transformation will go.

Gain support from your leadership, involve management in the process, and engage your employees.

  • Have your leadership and management guide the company through the process.
    Good examples should come from the top. That’s why you should not only familiarize your executives with your new strategy but also make sure that they fully comprehend it and visibly demonstrate their support. Plus, your managers should be able to implement it within their teams, and be ready to assist whenever someone needs help during the process.

  • Enable two-way communication with your employees.
    Make your employees a vital part of your transformation. If you weren’t doing this before, then it’s about time to start listening to their feedback and suggestions now. Communication is king! They need to feel like they have the power to shape your corporate culture, and are not just expected to blindly obey the rules imposed on them by your managers and leaders. That’s why they should be involved from the very beginning, and continue to be part of the entire transformation.

  • Make sure that you all share the same understanding of what this cultural transformation actually means to your business.
    From your leadership down to your junior specialists – everyone should understand the cultural transformation in the same way. There’s no room for various interpretations here, as they may lead to misunderstandings. So, for example, you can invest in a “culture book” that has all your values, principles, and goals written down and clearly explained. This can be a good point of reference for everyone in your company, with your managers acting as human guides and assistants.

  • Organise workshops for your employees and hire people who match your cultural criteria.
    A set of workshops may be needed at the beginning of the process – and perhaps also later on – whenever an adjustment is introduced or new members join your teams. And speaking of new employees – you should also modify your recruitment criteria and only hire people whose values fit your culture, or those who have demonstrated their support for your vision and can easily adjust to changes.

Monitor the process.

  • Track your progress and learn from your experience.
    If you don’t monitor the effectiveness of your actions, you will never know if your strategy actually works. So, measure everything that can be measured – the productivity of your teams, their level of satisfaction as well as the satisfaction of your customers, etc. Every assumption has to be verified.

  • Adjust your course, whenever necessary.
    Of course, once you notice that something needs to be improved, take care of it straight away. Don’t allow the situation to develop into something that will settle in your organisation for good, especially when it’s not actually good for anyone.

Wrap-up and main benefits

Your corporate values, standards of work, preferred behaviour and personal attitudes help distinguish your organisation from all the others in the market.

These are also the very things that make your company work the way that it works and they affect every aspect of your business – from your internal processes and employee satisfaction, to your relationships with external environmental factors. A cultural transformation brings many benefits, with these three at the helm:

  • Having a consistent cultural strategy creates a solid foundation for all your business processes, decisions and actions – so that everyone knows exactly how to react in certain situations.

  • It boosts employee efficiency since it’s much easier and more pleasant to work in a transparently organised workplace.

  • It improves your communication processes and the relationships that you build with clients by making your actions more reliable and predictable.

At Future Processing, even though we’ve already gone through all the above-mentioned steps, we are always focused on improving ourselves – and having seen and experienced firsthand all the benefits that a cultural transformation can bring, we highly recommend this to every company.

Do you want to discuss how cultural transformation can help your business?

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