By Elsbeth McSorley
Tips to help you navigate a culture change successfully
Change is an integral part of the business world. In some cases, change occurs because of factors you cannot control. In other situations, you may have taken steps to initiate and encourage a change that improves your business dramatically. When change impacts the culture of your company, everyone involved will be affected in different ways. Here are some tips to help you navigate a culture change successfully.
1. Evaluate the potential effects of the change
As you prepare for an imminent culture change, consider the effects the change may have on your company. Will employees leave? If so, is there any way to convince them to stay on board? How many employees will you need to replace? Are employees going to file complaints? Understanding all of these potential problems allows you to begin preparing your response.
2. Evaluate the readiness of your management team
Ask yourself whether your management team is ready and able to deal with the upcoming culture change. If you feel that your team is not prepared, brainstorm ways to help them be successful. Regardless of their level of readiness, make sure that all members of your management team are aware of the changes facing the company before they begin affecting employees.
3. Announce the upcoming changes to employees
Once you have discussed upcoming cultural changes with members of the management team and prepared as much as you can, announce the change to the rest of your staff. For best results, be clear and concise about how this change will affect your company and its employees.
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4. Allow employees to ask questions
After announcing the upcoming cultural changes and giving employees some time to digest them, allow employees to ask questions or express their concerns. Address all of these issues as clearly and reassuringly as you can in order to prevent an unnecessary loss of personnel.
5. Change your hiring practices going forward
Many of the employees you have already hired will choose to stay on even after a culture change, even if they may not appreciate all aspects of the transition. As you move forward, however, you should alter your hiring practices to reflect your organization's new culture and values. Bring in only those employees that will fit well within your new workplace environment.
Navigating a cultural change is difficult for any company. However, with the right preparation and strategic decisions, you can harness the change and make it a success.
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