What is an Organization’s Culture?
An organization’s culture is its collective mindset. It consists of written and unwritten norms and expectations of behaviors regarding how employees should perform their work and how they should interact with others, both within and outside the organization.
Company Culture Includes:
- How employees and leaders interact in times of stress and change
- Whether it is acceptable for employees to ask questions, say no, or make suggestions for change
- What behaviors get rewarded or disciplined
- The level of authenticity and truth-telling
- What gets monitored and/or reported
- How mistakes and communication breakdowns are handled
- Whether management supports training and how they do so
- How power is used and/or shared
- The degree of cross-department support and collaboration
- How blame and rumors are dealt with
Why is Company Culture Important?
When introducing change (e.g., IT-driven changes, a merger and/or acquisition, dealing with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic), many of your organization’s patterns will emerge as either being helpful or constraining as you navigate to a new way of operating.
Because the necessary strategies, structures, systems, processes, and/or technologies will likely be different from your current ones, they will require employees to adopt new ways of working and new ways of interacting with each other.
Without a proactive plan to change your cultural norms and expectations to those that support the objectives of your change, your organization’s transformation initiatives are more likely to fail because the current cultural norms and expectations will tether employees to their existing ways of working.
It is important to proactively make changes to your culture and make these changes overt so that employees:
- Know they need to do things differently
- Know what they need to do differently
How Can You Transform Your Culture?
In order to fully understand the extent to which cultural change must take place, leaders first need to properly assess their current culture. Doing so will help you understand to what extent your existing cultural attributes are likely to support or act as a barrier to achieving your objectives.
Once this is understood, you can determine where changes need to occur. You will also be able to identify the specific cultural attributes that embody the critical behaviors necessary for your successful transformation.
During the 2021 Gulf Coast Symposium on HR Issues that was held in Houston, TX, Soarington’s Founder, Trevor Spunt, co-delivered a presentation with Alvin Proctor, VP, HR, Kaneka Americas Holding entitled: A Case Study in Culture Transformation: Insights and Successes.
They discussed the ways in which Soarington helped Kaneka’s leadership gain a deeper understanding of their existing culture, identify and align on the cultural changes necessary for success, and prioritize the actions required to transform their culture.
“Although we knew we had problems, Soarington was able to go much deeper to really understand our culture and organization. They were able to quickly establish a level of trust and were trusted. They utilized a series of tools and techniques that were very effective and that we are still using today. They created action plans, which were a good fit for Kaneka (e.g., skillset and bandwidth) and supported us in executing them. I highly recommend Soarington if you are serious about the need to change your organization.”
VP, Human Resources
Kaneka Americas Holding
Assess Your Current Culture
This assessment is customized for the unique characteristics of your organization and is achieved through the appropriate combination of an online survey, one-on-one interviews, and/or focus groups.
Identify Your Desired Culture
This is accomplished through prioritization and alignment discussions with your leadership team using Soarington’s proprietary list of 26 different aspects of company culture.
Identify Your Transformation Needs
This will enable you to identify the changes that need to occur to establish a roadmap for transforming your culture.
Provide Recommendations for Approval
Soarington will provide recommendations, based on the results of previous stages, to close the gap between the current culture and your desired culture and seek your leadership team’s agreement on these recommendations.
Prioritize Approved Recommendations
Soarington conducts a comprehensive mapping exercise designed to extract the greatest value from each recommendation by assessing the impact of each one on the others.
Create Detailed Action Plans
This takes the transformation from the strategic to tactical level and establishes your foundation for the activities necessary to bring your cultural transformation to life.
Transform Your Culture
Detailed action plans are executed efficiently and effectively to transform your culture.
Measure Your Success
Soarington’s approach to measuring the effectiveness of your cultural transformation will give you the confidence you need that the desired culture is being achieved.