Culture is one of the most central features of a company, and almost all executives (84% from a Deloitte study) believe that it is crucial to determining success.
Implementing Culture Change Requires 3 Key Factors
When culture change is implemented, it is often brought on by the best intentions. Executives want to make sure that employees are happy and that strategic goals are met, since they know that when culture and strategy are aligned, companies can show as much as a 50% improvement in performance.
That said, starting new initiatives is always hard for companies. No matter how useful and important a change may be, complete buy-in at all levels is almost impossible and chances of success are slim. A 2013 study of global senior executives found that only 54% of new initiatives were ultimately successful at companies worldwide. These failed initiatives cause unnecessary costs, opportunity loss, wasted resources, and low morale across the company.
So how can organizations make sure that culture change, when attempted, actually sticks? CommandHound has worked with clients to determine the most important tricks implementing culture change, so read on to find our top tips.
1. Get Buy-In from Top Management
Employees need to see the company’s top management modeling culture change. This creates the sense that executives are equally involved in the process of change, and shows that change is possible. Executives serve as very visible examples of how the company should function with this culture change, and are able to enforce change in the teams they manage. This oversight proves crucial in actually getting culture change to stick.
Managers Must Lead by Example to Ensure That Culture Change Is Actually Implemented
2. Hold Individuals and Teams Accountable for Making the Changes
All players involved in the culture change must actually be held accountable for specific behavior changes. Beyond just the big-picture buy-in needed from top management, individual employees need to know what tasks are expected of them in order to implement this specific culture change.
Software solutions like CommandHound make it easy for team leaders to assign, monitor, escalate, and report on critical tasks assigned to individuals. This means that there is clarity around what each person has to do, and by tracking performance at the individual level each team leader can really drive accountability in the workplace.
Say, for example, that your company is implementing a new client-centric culture supported by a new CRM system. CommandHound allows team leaders to define, assign, track, escalate and report on critical tasks, milestones, and metrics at the individual team member level to ensure change is actually taking place.
3. Actively Manage and Measure Changes
Attempting to implement a culture change without first knowing which metrics and goals will be analyzed along the way means that organizations are flying blind when trying to decide if a culture change was successful or not. The Harvard Business Review has suggestions for 4 crucial metrics that need to be tracked along the way:
Are performance indicators improving? Are goals being met or exceeded? Are customers happier? Determine which performance metrics you want to track, and see how they change with the new culture as it evolves.
Are the majority of people implementing the behavior changes that are crucial to the new culture? For example, if the culture change revolves around making more customers happy, are employees interacting with customers more or updating important customer information more? If not, something is going wrong.
Have specific milestones being reached? If the culture change was intended to help the company reach a specific goal, how are things progressing on the way to that goal?
Underlying Beliefs, Feelings, and Mindsets
Is the culture change affecting employees’ attitudes as desired? Get feedback from employees to determine if their beliefs or feelings have changed for the better.
Monitoring Key Metrics Are Critical for a Culture Change to Stick
Want to learn more about how to make culture change stick at your company? Request a demo from CommandHound, and one of our team members will show you how a culture change plan needs to put accountability in the workplace at the core: