Why and how to adjust your company culture

Workplace intangibles profoundly affect morale, productivity, recruitment and retention. As you plan modifications, bear these key factors in mind, so you’re not just spinning your wheels.


There’s a reason company culture has become such a big focus for organizations large and small.

Studies show, time and time again, that culture can make or break performance, team cohesion, and employee recruitment and retention.

If you’re thinking about enhancing your company culture, you must lay a strategic foundation for lasting change. Trying to implement an overhaul overnight can backfire, causing tumult or producing only transient results.

Therefore, what should you consider in your efforts to reshape the culture? Here are a few recommendations:

  • Think about cultural visibility. Culture isn’t just a set of buzzwords on a sheet of paper. It should be something your employees and customers can see in your daily actions and behaviors. How do your leaders show what your culture is? How does your team embody those same values? Think practically, not just abstractly.
  • Think in terms of why. Why do you want to change your culture? What results are you hoping for? What values do you want everyone to align with? Before making a big change to your culture, be clear about why you’re doing it, and try to get the full team on board.
  • Think about the past. Not everyone likes change. Some might be reluctant to let go of traditions or habits. Be respectful of these feelings, and try to recognize and affirm the good things your company should retain.
  • Think about emotions. In a positive culture, people throughout the organization can express themselves freely, without fear or dread. As you think about cultural changes, make sure you afford employees space to think and speak openly.
  • Think about engagement. What will you do to get everyone in the organization involved in the new culture? How will you ensure that it’s widely adopted? That’s always a key concern when thinking about changing the values or vision of your workplace.

A version of this post first ran on Dr. Rick Goodman’s blog. You can follow him on Twitter.

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