Is Communication Enough to Reshape Your Company Culture?

For one reason or another, you may eventually feel motivated to change your company culture. Maybe the company has grown beyond its initial roots and it’s time to reassess the purpose and future of the company. Maybe new leaders have taken over and they have a different vision for what they want the business to be. Or maybe the company culture is many decades old at this point, and it’s long overdue for an overhaul.

Whatever the case, company culture can be difficult to change, especially if you haven’t undergone this type of transformation for some time. Is communication alone enough to help you reshape that company culture?

Communication: The First Step in Reshaping Culture

Communication is how we convey ideas to one another, so it’s almost impossible to reshape your company culture without the help of communication. These are some of the best tools you have at your disposal to inform and update your employees (as well as your clients):

·       Formal announcements. You can start with a formal announcement that you intend to change the culture of the business, or by outlining the specific changes you intend to make. For example, you might announce that the company is going to focus more heavily on diversity, equity and inclusion, or you might announce plans to make the internal culture more collaborative or mutually supportive. A simple memo, or a longer treatise on the subject, could be exactly what you need to get the point across.

·       Education. Employee education and engagement are also important for building company culture. Just because you’ve introduced a concept to them doesn’t mean they’re going to understand it. Depending on the complexity of the topic and the extent of the changes you’re making, it may benefit you to put together a short educational seminar on the matter or host a few team building events where you reinforce these new cultural concepts.

·       Mission, vision, values, and more. Don’t forget to make changes to official company branding and documentation, such as changes to your mission statement, your vision, and your core values. These are foundational documents that will be referenced throughout your work place, throughout your marketing, and anywhere your brand is to be found.

·       Omnichannel messaging. You may also find value in communicating with employees with the help of omnichannel messaging. By utilizing many different channels, with digital signage software, direct text messages, chat platforms, video conferencing, and more, you’ll be able to reach employees with important messages more consistently and keep them engaged throughout the workday. 

·       Reminders and corrective action. Communication is also valuable for providing employees with reminders and taking corrective action when necessary. If an employee deviates from your company culture in a significant way, you can point it out and prevent the action from recurring.

·       General internal communications. Don’t forget that company culture is often embodied in internal communications. How and when people talk to each other is dictated, in part, by the type of organizational culture you have in place. In other words, communication is how you execute the new company culture.

The Limitations of Communication

However, there are some limitations to communication. Communication alone isn’t going to be enough to completely change your company culture from the ground up.

·       The power of action. You’ve heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words.” It’s a bit colorful, but the premise of the idea is sound. Your employees are going to take your intended changes much more seriously if there’s action behind them, rather than just some vague descriptive text. It’s easy to describe teamwork as one of the core values of your organization, but it’s another thing entirely to create the infrastructure necessary to support more teamwork.

·       Leadership. It’s ideal to lead by example as well. Your employees are going to be looking to their managers, supervisors, and other superiors, whether they do it consciously or unconsciously. If your leaders are consistently promoting your new mission and new core values, that’s a good start – but your leaders also have to embody these cultural changes if they’re going to make a lasting impact.

·       Employee rewards. Reward the employees who adhere to the new tenants of your organizational culture change. Not only does this inspire them to continue, but it also motivates their peers to follow in their footsteps. It’s a reinforcement strategy that communication alone can’t achieve.

If you want to dramatically change your company’s culture, communication can help. With the right messaging, an education strategy, formal announcements, and a revised approach to internal communication, you can create a fantastic foundation for organizational cultural change. 

However, even the best communication approach isn’t going to be enough to create lasting change within your business; for that, you’re going to need to recognize organizational cultural change as an organic, evolving process. Only with a long-term commitment and the collective involvement of all your partners, managers, and employees will you be able to completely reshape your environment.




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