Improving or altering the organizational culture at work can be one of the most difficult tasks for leaders. Within a particular business culture, there are always underlying assumptions, attitudes, communication practices, goals, procedures, roles and values. These fundamentals are all interrelated, and most of the time will be resistant to any “single fix” changes that leadership might bring to the table. Even when novel processes are introduced, such as bringing in a fresh team to the organization, and even if they might appear to be working for a while, those interrelated elements ultimately preserve the existing organizational culture — against change.
The probability of improving organizational culture is greater if all organizational tools for changing the attitudes and perceptions of a workforce are properly employed. Business leaders would be wise to set a new vision in motion starting with leadership tools, such as articulating a story of the future. Getting the transformation in place means exploiting all management tools, including the definition of roles, measurement and control systems.
How to Identify Bad/Negative Culture
A negative organizational culture can be characterized by animosity, fear, intimidation and laziness. It is not limited to the employees and applies to all the members of the organization.
What Is the Impact of Negative Culture?
Sometimes, organizational cultures can be so dominant that both employee and employer end up throwing away good ideas because they seem counter to the culture already in place. Unfortunately, a company’s competitive edge can be lost if it does not respond to changes in the market and adopt a more open and flexible culture.
Change Management’s Mindset
Improving organizational culture is not just about changing management. Rather, it is a restructuring of the entire company. Organizational culture itself can often make it harder for workers to do business with other enterprises. Even if a particular employee leaves an organization, the negative organizational culture can persist within the organization. Negative company culture also can seep into an employee’s personal life, influencing the way the employee interacts with his/her family.
Given that people tend to become comfortable with the organizational culture that is already in place, it more often than not requires a significant event to happen for a transformation to occur. Improving organizational culture can be an arduous journey. If the culture is the reason for dysfunction, then steps have to be taken to improve it. Change happens when people in an organization understand that the current culture has to be altered. But change is not easy.
How Can It Be Made Possible?
The good news is that organizational modification is possible. Three steps that can help change a corporate culture are understanding the existing culture and that it needs to change, finding out where the organization wishes to go, and ensuring that employees recognize that changing their behavior will produce the desired organizational culture improvement.
Success can be found when all the corporate fundamentals work together for a change. The shaping of a corporate culture can only be done after the destructive practices are removed. The change will be sabotaged if those negative practices are still present, like an ever-growing disease.
Change is possible with the help of organizational culture and leadership training that can help all employees, as well as the board of directors, work together to improve the entire corporate culture. Focusing on employee satisfaction and engagement will improve organizational culture.
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