Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day – Frances Hesselbein
The world around us is always changing. Constant technological advancements and shifts in society means change management is a necessity for any organisation. There are also many circumstances that require management of change, such as new competition or demographic trends.
For some people change can be daunting, which is why it’s important to ensure you equip employees with the right mentality and tools to take change in their stride and help to drive it.
3 key cultural aspects for effective change management
1. Strong leadership
Introducing new procedures can be tricky. Strong leaders can navigate staff through the difficult transition periods of organisational change and demonstrate that although the changes might be difficult at first, in the long run, it will benefit the whole organisation.
2. Shared company values
Where members of an organisation hold the same business values, staff are more able to follow these fundamental beliefs and best working practice, even in times of uncertainty. The ideals of a company determine the interactions between staff, customers and all stakeholders. Sharing the same values helps to create a positive working environment as everyone is striving towards the same goals.
3. Commitment to learning
Managing change will often result in new procedures or technology being introduced to the company. This can sometimes be daunting for employees who are used to the traditional ways of working. Organisations that are dedicated to the professional development of their staff tend to have employees who are open to new practices and are less likely to resist change.
A strong company culture will ease the transition of organisational change but this in itself is not enough:
“In the midst of change, one old truth holds true: an organisation cannot be more effective than its people. It’s more important than ever that teams are equipped with the right knowledge and expertise to adapt to challenges they face and drive innovation, wherever they are.”(Andy Newell-Smith)
Steps required for effective change management
Communication with staff
Senior leadership and management need to be a calming influence and effectively educate staff about new changes to help employees manage them . Change often results in differences in job roles which can be unsettling for the people affected. In order to combat this one of the best ways to implement change is through face to face communication, allowing employees to ask questions and feel connected to the change process.
Assessing company culture
Assessing company culture before change starts can reveal how ready an organisation is for change and helps to identify areas where problems may occur. Identifying these factors and understanding attitudes, behaviours and values will allow a foundation for effective change to be developed.
Lead by example
Employees can struggle to facilitate change even if they are empowered within a learning organisation. Being able to see changing procedures successfully working within senior management is encouraging for staff but also assures them that change is necessary.
Change management is a complex process, to further understand how to execute change smoothly download your free copy of the whitepaper, Vision for Learning Organisations.