In the past few years, organizational culture has become a buzzword, but so many times organizations fall short of providing a fulfilling company culture because they don’t understand what it means. Nor do they understand their own culture. 

What is Company Culture?

Company culture is a shared set of values, goals, attitudes and practices that make up an organization.

Organizational culture refers to the values, expectations and practices adopted by an organization. A positive organizational culture fosters a healthy environment where employees feel valued. If your employees feel respected and included, they’re more likely to engage with your organization and its mission. 

Senior managers often find it difficult to identify whether their organizational culture is positive, especially if they don’t interact with employees from all departments on a day-to-day basis. 

More from Jeffrey Bowman5 Questions the Tech Industry Needs to Ask to (Re)Start Innovating DEI


What Is Culture Change Management? 

Culture change management refers to an organization’s approach to changing culture. Like other types of change, culture change must be addressed in a strategic and organized manner to ensure that any changes implemented are effective. 

5 Steps Toward a More Positive Company Culture

  1. Define your values.
  2. Review and/or create standard operating procedures
  3. Talk to employees to figure out your culture’s current state.
  4. Introduce a corporate wellness program.
  5. Create a more inclusive environment.

Culture change management can be especially tricky to implement as the success of this change depends on how your employees react and adapt to any initiatives. Their reaction is, for the most part, out of your control. 


How to Change Your Organization’s Culture

Now that you know what organizational change and culture change management are and why they’re important, let’s look at effective ways to start improving your organization’s culture.


Define Your Values

If you haven’t already, take the time to define your values. Then ask your internal communications team to develop and run campaigns that will encourage employees to start adopting these values. 

Examples of strong cultural values that help create a safe work environment include: 

  1. Respecting all employees. Without mutual respect, it can be difficult for employees to communicate and work with others. 
  2. Customer commitment. For most companies, one of the biggest priorities is making sure that customers are satisfied. Make sure your employees understand this so that they can actively work to provide the best service possible.
  3. Corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) isn’t just a value, it’s a business model corporations follow to make sure that they are accountable for their impact on society on a micro and macro level. An example of this at a micro level is sourcing local foods for your company’s cafeteria. On a macro level, it could be something like introducing a bike-to-work program to reduce the company’s carbon footprint.
  4. Staff well-being. Generous medical insurance reassures your staff, boosts employee engagement and increases employee retention. 


Review or create standard operating procedures 

A step as simple as reviewing or creating new standard operating procedures can sometimes improve a company’s culture. 

Standard operating procedures are great for documentation purposes, reduce the chances of error and help produce consistent results. They ensure that employees are aligned with your vision for delivering work and performing everyday work activities. 

They also help new employees settle in more quickly by giving them the information they need to start fulfilling their responsibilities. The quicker new employees ramp up and begin to work efficiently, the less tension there will be between them and existing employees. 

Finally, standard operating procedures help set the standard of work expected from employees while simultaneously communicating the vision of the company to employees who have less interaction with senior management.


Talk To Your Employees

Talk to employees from all seniority levels, different backgrounds and teams to get a more comprehensive view of your organization’s culture as it stands. Prepare a list of questions prepared to help you identify the most important bits of information. 

Examples of questions you can ask to learn more about your workplace culture include: 

  • Do you feel rewarded by us?
  • Do you think our arrangements are flexible?
  • What are the benefits of working here?


Introduce a Corporate Wellness Program 

As more corporations are starting to understand the importance of mental health and how it contributes to employee happiness and productivity, employers are introducing corporate wellness programs. 

Adopting a corporate wellness program can be incredibly beneficial for both the employer and employee but how successful it is relies on the employer’s ongoing approach to managing workplace wellness. 

Fundamentally, by introducing and encouraging the usage of your wellness program, you will create an environment in which employees don’t feel as though they are completely responsible for their ailing mental health. In other words, it communicates to your staff that you accept that you’re also responsible for your employees’ mental health and well-being.


Create a More Inclusive Environment

It’s vital for employers to enact policies and procedures that champion inclusivity and make every employee feel like their voice is heard. At Reframe, we work with business leaders to transform their organization’s culture with a focus on creating an inclusive employee experience by examining structure, strategy, segments, systems and solutions. 

More Reading on Company CultureWhat Is Company Culture?


Why Culture Change Must Happen

Cultural change in the workplace must happen if you want your business to be successful and continue to grow. It won’t happen overnight; it takes time and should be viewed as a long-term process. Startups, stop relying on a quick DM or email to better support employees. Instead, take your business forward by ensuring a mutual understanding of roles, responsibilities and processes.

Expert Contributors

Built In’s expert contributor network publishes thoughtful, solutions-oriented stories written by innovative tech professionals. It is the tech industry’s definitive destination for sharing compelling, first-person accounts of problem-solving on the road to innovation.

Learn More

Great Companies Need Great People. That's Where We Come In.

Recruit With Us