Culture transformation involves the gathering an appreciation of how aligned everyone is with your organisations values, focusing on the areas where there is evidence of gaps and misalignment and collectively creating actionable processes that help communication of changes that are required.

The change in some instances can be quick, but typically it will take time and starts with individuals, then onto groups and teams and when nurtured will spread to the whole organization.
Dedication and commitment from everyone is essential to assist on the road to cultural change and it is essential everybody involved be provided with the necessary tools and a clear road map of what that change looks like before the journey can begin. Successful culture transformation requires buy-in from all levels of leadership throughout the organization.
It will require challenging the existing culture, making dynamic changes to behaviours, challenging beliefs on how things have always been done and shifting the minds of everyone within the organisation to help support the required standards, attitudes, mindsets and beliefs that will result in positive cultural transformational outcome within the organisation.

Whether it’s your organisations vision is to provide an amazing work place or increase productivity, firstly you will need to work on building an unified, adaptive, flexible, and structured culture that delivers results every single day, even during tough times, like the difficult times we all experienced of late during the recent global pandemic.
Cultural transformation in any organisation can be a complicated and difficult process, but,i f delivered correctly it can have an extraordinarily positive impact on your organization and its success in the future. The payoff to all the commitment, effort and hard work will be reflected in your productivity and profits, lower employee turnover and increased customer satisfaction. All which are sustainable with continued dedication and commitment.
Statistics show that organisations with a strong culture are at massive competitive advantage over their competitors. Organisations that develop a strong culture in which their people are always well prepared for change, through the good times and the bad will always be positioned ahead of the curve when that change shows up.
Culture transformation involves taking a holistic view of your organisation and refining your communication processes, policies, leadership commitments, systems and procedures, employee and management behaviours and your organisation objectives so they align with the values and beliefs of everyone involved.
When an organisation creates a strong culture the results are powerful, firstly employees have a clear understanding of how they are expected to respond to situations that may arise and also have a very clear vision of what the organisation stands for and values. Secondly, employees are aware that they will be rewarded for supporting the organisations values and what distinguishes them from other organizations and finally they will prosper in such a strong cultural environment.
In conclusion, culture transformation is a concentrated change of behaviours towards achieving a shared goal. It’s an intensive effort, but, in the long run maintaining the change will assist your organisations culture to grow and evolve towards reaching your objectives, change how your employees think and how your stake holders, clients and customers perceive you, attract and help to retain better employees and influence how they think, act and deliver your products to your clients and customers.
A dysfunctional culture will lead to a toxic, non-productive and inefficient work environment where employees are disengaged, unhappy, absent due to being in an unhappy workplace and experiencing low morale and not performing to their full potential

Successful elements of a positive culture

1. Strong organisational values

Organisational values are not the same thing as the organisations business values. Organisational values provide an indication of the direction of the required behaviours and mindsets when developed, communicated and executed consistently will act as a guide towards achieving the organisations vision. Values set the standard, tone and mood for a positive workplace culture, they help employees and stakeholders understand what an organisation stands for and what is expected of them and provides a code of conduct for how everyone within the organisation is to behave.

Values are the set of beliefs and principles that assist everyone within an organisation function better together as a team and work towards a common goal. Values are those behaviours that will never change no matter how the organisation evolves and are lived by all within the organisation on a daily basis. Core values may include; integrity, respect, passion, having high standards and loyalty.

2. Excellent comradeship and community

Is about getting to know about your team mates, their families, what they like to do outside of the workplace. When there is strong comradeship within an organisation team members trust each other and genuinely enjoy working together. This can increase collaboration and loyalty, provide a sense of belonging, lead to less conflict and more open communication, contribute to higher levels of efficiency, develop strong friendships, increase contributions, performance and productivity and best of all create an community environment where people enjoy coming to work.

3. Mutual respect

Recent research has revealed that the respectful treatment of employees was the leading contributor to job satisfaction and is without doubt one of the most important aspects of promoting a positive culture. An organisation that provides a positive, supportive and nurturing work environment will reap many benefits, such as; reduced workplace stress, less problems, and conflicts, improved communication, increased employee satisfaction and productivity, greater teamwork and collaboration.
While chain of command and hierarchy exist within every organisation, it is important that those in a senior position do not use their power to mistreat and disrespect employees and everyone be treated with courtesy, fairness, honesty, respect, and dignity. An effective hierarchy where there is a good culture encourages leaders to be accountable for achieving results.

A culture of respect requires that the organisation develop adequate methods for responding to incidents of disrespectful behaviour towards others. When disrespectful behaviour occurs, it must be effectively addressed immediately and with consistency and with the greatest degree of openness and transparently.

4. Continued open and transparent communication

Consistent open and transparent communication of both good and bad information sharing promotes a positive and relaxed environment where everyone openly communicates and shares with one another. For management communicating why decisions are made is essential in trust building and for employees communicating sensitive issues without concern of reprisal or repercussion. Transparent and open communication can be described as a feeling of trust and collaboration at all levels.

Open and transparent communication works both ways from the top down to the bottom up and helps build and enhance trust in the organization, increases the sharing of ideas, increases collaboration, dispels myths and legends, increases innovation, helps problem with solving, increases employee engagement, increased reporting of safety incidents and near misses which leads the workplace being more informed, increases actionability, encourages people to communicate openly and helps build strong lasting relationships.

Information can be shared formally, informally or behind closed doors, in large or small groups, one on one and often publicly.

5. Continuous consistency

Transforming a current culture or developing a new one takes time, dedication and hard work but what makes it effective in the long term is continually being consistent.
When an organisation holds cultural transformation events, surveys or cultural programs they must be delivered regularly and consistently so as to reach the desired effect. Typically, organisations will hold these types of events annually and in the moment they have a positive effect but in time the effect dwindle and there is no long term positive cultural change.
Cultural change takes time, dedication, persistence, involvement from all and most of all being regularly consistent in how it is delivered.
6. Strong organisational mission statement
A mission statement defines a clear, concise declaration of your organisations strategy, objectives, purpose, core values, goals, its approach and how it intends to reach those objectives and goals and how it will live by its purpose and values.

It shares why your employees, stakeholders, clients and customers matter and how your organisation can make a difference in their lives. Mission statements showcases an organisations unique brand from its competitors, it can attract new employees who resonate with the statement, provides existing employees with a clear purpose and highlights the positive nature of what they do,

7. Clear organisational vision statement

An organisations vision statement articulates the desired future position and impact of the organisation and helps directing its growth. Vision statements can often assist in directing clients, stakeholders, customers and suppliers. It acts as a compass going forward and describes what and when the organisation wants to do it, giving purpose to their existence. Its typically short, concise, simple, specific to the organisations business, looks to the future, inspirational, setting standards of excellence and to the point.

8. Having a strong statement of shared Values, beliefs, behaviours, purposes and goals
Having shared values, beliefs, behaviours, purposes and goals can have a tremendous impact on employees passion for work and their morale and the organisations productivity and profits.

It encourages employees to share common characteristics, principles and convictions with their colleagues. This can contribute towards a feeling of comradeship and a collective interest in the organisations success. It can also reflect how an employee’s personal values and beliefs align with the organisations ones.

Elements of the mission and vision statements can be combined to develop a statement of the organisations values, beliefs, behaviours, purposes and goals.

9. Engagement and buy in from everyone

When building and transformation a strong culture or maintaining an existing one, having employee engagement and buy in will be instrumental in its success or failure.? Employee engagement and buy in alludes to how employees feel about their culture, their jobs, their commitment towards the organisation, care they show for one another, their commitment to finding solutions to problems and creating ideas to improve situations.

The bigger the employee engagement and buy in the more powerful the culture. The more powerful the culture the more committed employees feel towards the organisation and the clearer they are towards understanding what is expected of them and what they are working towards.

Having engaged employees who are bought into the organisations vision, mission and values are far more likely to exhibit care towards their work and colleagues, be dedicated to living the organisations vision and buying into the mission statements, be enthusiastic, demonstrate pride in their work, and remain focused on the organisations goals for business.

Equally as important is how an organisation treats its employees, if employees are treated poorly it will have a direct impact on its employees engagement and the culture with not be given an opportunity to thrive. When an organisation has strong leaders who are engaged, supportive, inspiring, listen to the workforce and are fully bought in, then the culture will be a strong one.

Signs of an engaged organisation are:

  • Greater motivation, enthusiasm and engagement on all levels
  • Increased levels of respect and happiness
  • Increased innovation, problem solving and collaboration
  • Employees that go the extra mile
  • Lower safety incidents
  • Lower absenteeism
  • Lower staff turnover
  • Pride in the work
  • Increased employee, customer, client, stake holder satisfaction and loyalty
  • Strong teams and collective drive for the organisation to succeed

10. Having a culture transformation coach to facilitate

When driving culture transformation the a culture transformation coach to facilitate is paramount to its success. Cultural change doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t happen on its own. It needs someone external to the organisation to facilitate and lead discussions. Someone who is focused and experienced in exploring, understanding, dealing with difficult situations, resolving organisational culture difficulties and challenges. Someone with the skills, knowledge and experience who is enthusiastic, persistent and has the ability to listen and can walk an organisation through the process step by step and share examples from their experiences with their clients.
These requirements are fundamental to an organisations cultural transformation success. By engaging an external perspective to see things that they otherwise cannot see and to ask questions that others may not ask and to hold the space while these questions are answered and engaging others in conversations about what is happening in the organisation is essential for the transformation to occur.
A facilitators role is to assist in the translation of these conversations, opinions, viewpoints, and beliefs, into ideas and solutions and assist in the development of plan of action of how things need to improve and change.
11. Focused management team that turn up as leaders
Employees look to an organisations management team to lead by example, give direction and to communicate instructions. For good or for bad, employees will follow these examples and copy these behaviours, methods, instructions and attitudes. For successful culture transformation, you need management to turn up as leaders who believe in and support a positive culture. This starts by ensuring that they display the desired behaviours that embody your organisations desired ideal culture.
Leaders inspire, have integrity, show respect, are experts in communication, can delegate and influence, show empathy, are trustworthy, dependable, compassionate, show vulnerability and have the capacity to admit their mistakes. Management must show up as leaders, be aligned with and live the organizations values. If there are poor relationships, poor attitudes, lack of clarity, no integrity, zero accountability, and no trust within or between your executive teams, managers, stakeholders and board this will lead to a breakdown in relationships.

12. An environment of openness and transparency

When an organisation has a culture of openness and transparency where employees and management can share and interact without fear of repercussions this will lead to a more innovative, creative and collaborative environment.

Openness and transparency contributes to job satisfaction, lowers stress, increases efficiency, builds accountability, shows trust, encourages collaboration and identifies different perspectives. Openness means being transparent when sharing information, so employees know what’s going on within the organisation, and also feel like their opinions are heard.

If an organisation has a culture that is not open and transparent and keeps employees uniformed this will lead to mistrust in the workforce and allow the spread of myths and rumours around what’s really happening I the organisation.

13. A culture of recognition

A culture where the management team, employees and work colleagues regularly and consistently recognise one another’s efforts in a significant and expressive way creates an atmosphere of satisfaction, engagement, pride, positivity, loyalty, motivation, comradeship and community and a sense gives all a of purpose.

When management team, employees and work colleagues are recognised on a regular basis it shows that the organisation appreciates their efforts and values their contributions and motivates them to achieve great things within the organisation.

Recognition for hitting targets, reaching milestones, successes, positive contributions and achievements greatly effects the culture of an organisation bringing everyone closer together creating a positive working environment.

Here are a few benefits of employee recognition:

  • Increases productivity, engagement and profitability
  • Improves wellbeing and mental health
  • Reduces employee turnover, improves retention and attracts new top talent
  • Increases motivation, loyalty, morale and happiness
  • Leads to greater employee job satisfaction
  • Builds a strong culture of gratification and positive work environment
  • Improves feedback from stake holders, customers and clients
  • Decreases stress and absenteeism

Recognition can be in the form of verbal or written praise for hitting targets, reaching milestones, celebrating successes, positive contributions and achievements. It can come in the form of bonuses, lunches, team building days or nights out and conveys gratitude and appreciation in recognition of hard work.

14. Powerful listening

When there is a culture of listening in an organisation it encourages creativity, allows for questions to be asked, builds trust and strong relationships, creates space to raise concerns and make suggestions, enables the identification and anticipation of problems, assists in conflict resolution, helps set priorities, encourages everyone to express their fears and assists in gaining clarity around what is being said.

The most favourable method of creating a culture of listening is to start with the management team, allowing it to descend down through the organization and out to the stakeholders, clients and customers.

What is a culture transformation coach?

A culture transformation coach assists in the facilitation of organisational change, development and learning through conversations and discussions. The coach acts as a guide for the organisation on the journey towards the desired culture, focusing on building the existing strengths, emphasising on development and growth, while shining a light on the unwritten rules, myths, behaviour traits and patterns, at the same timeassisting inaligning the organisations valuesby utilising strong coaching techniques and practices. The coach assists in delivering cultural change and helps the organisation achieve the results faster and develop a bespoke culture transformation programme customised to the unique needs of the organisation.

Why hire a culture transformation coach?

Hiring a culture transformation coach offers an external perspective to see things that otherwise cannot be seen and to ask questions that others may not ask and to hold the space while these questions are answered and engaging others in conversations about what is happening in the organisation.

Some more benefits of partnering with a cultural transformation coach are:

  • Improved safety
  • More engaging employees
  • Assists in the development of people and performance
  • Assists in the commitment to new leadership behaviours
  • Improves creativity
  • Improved delegation
  • Increased team work and performance
  • Improved collaborative working skills
  • Assists in identifying and finding solutions to problems
  • Increased stake holder, customer and client satisfaction
  • Turn around poor performance
  •  Improved management of difficult situations and conversations