How to Reduce the Negative Impact of Change on your Company Culture

Company culture is like the wind. It’s invisible, yet its impact can be felt and seen. When it’s blowing in your desired direction, it facilitates smooth sailing. But when blowing against you, it creates turbulence. In your attempts to address various challenges in your organisation, the chances are that you will encounter significant changes. So, how do you minimise the negative impact of change on your corporate culture?

How to Reduce the Negative Impact of Change on your Company Culture

Ensure effective communication

Ensuring transparency and openness about an anticipated change can build trust between your organisation and stakeholders. This way, everyone involved will remain engaged and committed to embracing the change throughout the transition period, reducing any impact on company culture.

For example, suppose you plan to ditch the traditional office setup for a remote setup. In that case, you can gain so much by keeping your teams informed and involving them in making various decisions throughout the process. At first, it will seem challenging for them to adapt to the changes. But along the way, they will learn that there is a lot to gain from the new arrangement.

Train all new hires to your organisation

As your organisation grows and triples in terms of human capital, it is easy to overlook the corporate culture with the new hires, especially during the on-boarding process. While this is a minor issue to most people, it can gradually dilute the corporate culture.

One effective way of removing the impact of change on your company culture is to implement a robust system of on-boarding new members. For example, you can ask questions based on your corporate culture during the selection and interview process. It’s also important to train the new employees on the basic tenets of your operations and the value that your brand stands for.

Creating a team of experienced employees from different departments who can pass knowledge to the new employees, ensures they are fully immersed in your company related behaviours and values. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the current employees. They, too, should be trained on embracing diversity and taking advantage of relevant trends to strengthen corporate culture.

Promote people from within

A change can also mean a person holding a higher position or an exit of a leader. Instead of quietly bringing in a new expert, it is good to minimise the impact of change on your company culture by analysing your current human capital and promote from within whenever possible. These are people who have been interacting with your brand for quite some time and are fully immersed in the corporate culture. That makes them your perfect bet to maintain it.

Additionally, promoting from within is a generational behaviour meant to strengthen and maintain a company’s set of principles and values. Embracing this concept sets a solid foundation for sustainability and builds protection over an organisation’s culture for future generations.

Give your team enough time to process

Perhaps you have held countless meetings with executives and supervisors before creating a good change strategy. By the time you roll out these changes to the rest of your company stakeholders, the executives are already coming to terms with the expected changes.

How about your employees, customers, and other stakeholders? What is the impact of change on these people? Many companies expect that everyone could adapt to changes instantly. Though there are people who can quickly process different levels of change, others may need more time to come to terms with changes in their environment.

Failure to give your staff enough time to process and assess the impact of change within your organisation can negatively affect their engagement and performance.

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Preserve what matters the most

Not all changes are positive. A lot is at stake when part of these changes involve cutting back on the budget or downsizing. Things like team building activities, training programs for workers, and rewards or recognition programs are usually the first to get sacrificed.

Unfortunately, most entrepreneurs, managers, and executives ignore the fact that these are the things that affect worker engagement and, eventually, company culture. Think about team building activities and recognition programs. These programs might seem like unnecessary expenses, but they play a crucial role in corporate culture and sustainability.

They show that an organisation values exceptional performance and motivates the entire workforce to unleash their talents. Training programs help sharpen workers’ skills and play a key role in improving overall productivity.

Instead of foregoing these crucial programs at the expense of your corporate culture, it’s imperative to find another way. However, make the necessary adjustments without undermining your company’s core values.

Summary

In a business environment, change is inevitable. How you implement changes could support or undermine your company culture. Keep in mind that your workers will focus on leadership during the transition period. Every choice you make and the policies you implement will have an impact on your corporate culture. The question is, will this impact of change be positive or negative?

Written by Åse Angland-Lindvall

With relentless energy and an unrivalled vision for helping companies to be successful, a core skill she gained at her time at E.ON and Ericsson, Åse helps companies understand the need for continuous innovation.

09/12/2020

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