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The Top 3 Company Culture Fixes That Don’t Work

Posted: Jun 09, 2014 by Dalya Arussy

People create culture- so why is it so hard for people to change it?

Culture is made up of many influences over the course of a long period of time. It’s a pattern that has evolved with the people that practice it. It’s not a written law. When you’re changing culture, you’re changing the intangible.Businessman Thinking

Companies know culture is important, but they tend to get a little lost when they try to make positive, lasting changes to it. Companies try to find the quick fixes, but they tend to backfire or make issues worse. Here are the top three company culture transformation fails:

1. Changing the Poster

You know that beautifully framed poster in your office that pinpoints the mission of your company in careful calligraphy? It just doesn’t sit right. And that’s not because the font doesn’t match the modern vibe of the office space.

Those who feel the need to scream out their mission, such as placing it in a frame, aren’t actually screaming it in practice at all. You should be able to walk into a company and feel the culture. You need to see it in the faces of every employee- not just on the wall.

Changing the décor does not change culture.

2. Reinventing the Wheel

All your employees have been corrupted by this old culture so why don’t you just fire all of them and hire a whole new staff that you can train from scratch?

How about not?

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. You may need some new attitudes in the office but if you go about it this way, you’ll be overwhelmed by the needs of a new staff all the while leaving your original issue- the need to transform your company culture- unresolved.

3. Taking Down the Dilbert Comics

Everyone is entitled to decorate their office space or cubicle to match their own personal style. But those Dilbert comic strips that Anna has pinned up are just so darn cynical. It’s probably best she take them down, right? In fact, let’s create a mandate for how everyone may decorate their walls.  That will go over well.

Look, if Anna put the comic up, it means she sees some truth in it. Taking the comic strip down doesn’t make the sentiment go away. Out of sight doesn’t mean out of mind.

 

It is hard to change culture, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done, or that it shouldn’t be done.

Work to make your office environment inspirational. Actually live and breathe the mission statement on your wall. Engage the employees you already have. Talk to them. Get their feedback and check in with them. Invest in educating them. But remember- change starts from the top down. What are you going to do differently? What example will you set for your staff? When you approach cultural change this way, trust us- Anna will take the Dilbert comic down herself.

Register here to learn more about Cultural Transformation at our upcoming webcast.

 

Read more on the Strativity blog: 

A Tale of 2 Companies: Contrasting Customer Experiences

5 Customer Experience Lessons We Can Learn From Wisconsin

Creating a Culture of Employee Delight

Evolving Customer Experience – Businesses Can Embrace a Culture of Feedback

Get Outside the Box: Employee Training in the Mud

The Power to Serve: Let Employees Make Mistakes – You’ll be Better Off

My Best Buy Journey: The Six Stages of an Awkward Customer Experience