Every business environment emulates the people that make it up and the people also reflect the culture of their workplace. This reciprocal relationship may work for or against an organization, but it is definitely changeable. People may choose to adapt to it or attempt to make a change. There are several ways to influence workplace culture. These best practices can be accomplished by any employee within the company, as well as from the top executive staff and middle management.
The first step in making change to any environment is to observe general operations. It is virtually impossible to influence anything that is not understood. Observing rules, processes, and people provides much needed information about the generally accepted standard operating procedures of an organization. Adequate time is required to learn how different departments interact with each other and what functions they perform. When a person is knowledgeable about an organization and its principles, they are able to gain the respect of their peers, subordinates, and superiors. When this has been accomplished, change becomes possible.
Take it Slow
As the proverbial saying implies, Rome was not built in a day. Organizational change takes time. Employees will quickly become hesitant and overwhelmed if too much information is given at once. It is important to make small, sustainable changes over a period of time that makes sense based on the existing culture. Certain aspects and behaviors that have been ingrained in the workforce over several decades will take more time to reform than a new company that has only been around for a few years. Consider the average age, education and experience of the workforce before implementing changes.
Transparency is the key to success when it comes to influencing workplace culture. Leaders who intend to influence change will make every effort to communicate openly and clearly with all members of staff. Announcing change early and offering forums for feedback are effective ways for leadership to keep employees in agreement when dealing with potential changes. Before, during, and after organizational change are the best times to record and monitor reactions to projected changes. These small steps will bring change and ultimately influence workplace culture. When suggestions are introduced and implemented in a methodical and thoughtful manner, change is inevitable.