Change is Hard: Help your Team Navigate Culture Shifts

When you are going through significant organizational shifts in your workplace, it can feel confusing and overwhelming, not just for the employees affected but for the leadership team planning and implementing those changes. Change starts at the top and the leadership team needs to be aligned in modelling the right behaviour. For example, if the shift is toward a more flexible work culture, then the managers need to ensure that their people are adjusting well before deciding to work from home every Friday themselves. Leaders should eat last after all.  

And so, it is important to be strategic when a corporate culture shift is coming. After all, when you are working with a People First mentality, you have to do just that — put your people first — to allow change and growth in your organization without destroying the heart and soul of the company. 

Harvard Business School has found that organizations who neglect to create a change plan that recognizes the human element of their companies are bound to fail — quickly. At People First, we work with organizations to ensure they are able to reach their goals and embrace change by preparing their leaders and their teams to work through culture shifts together.

The following Eight Steps To Successful Change is a helpful road map to guide your team. Obviously, it’s not a linear process. As they say, all good stories start in the middle. As facilitators, People First ensures that all voices are being heard and that all relevant assumptions are revealed and tested. 

Be Transparent

The best change management strategy starts with clear communication. If you are not being clear or always waiting for the right time to communicate, your employees will lose trust in your leadership and will be less motivated to put in the effort required to help change the culture. Poor communication around change leads to a loss of confidence in leadership and a subsequent increase in employee turnover and departures of top performers.

Actively engage with your team while undergoing internal changes. Give them the opportunity to have a voice in the changes that will impact how they work. Start with the Mission and Values so that there is a continual “true north” frame of reference. They’ve created 30,000 laws to uphold 10 commandments. Let’s clarify the “commandments” so that we don’t have to waste our time telling people how to fit the culture. This will result in increased trust in your leadership team,  knowing that they are being heard and that they can trust they will see you take action on their feedback.

If you see a corporate culture change in your future, connect with People First today. We will help you articulate your goals, create a transition plan, and work with your team to ensure that the shift is smooth and successful.