By this we mean organisational culture and climate.

Is your organisation in touch with its core purpose, values, beliefs and ideals – the principles that form the foundation for how you operate? Great – that’s your culture sorted!

Are your operating frameworks and behaviours aligned to, and do they reinforce those principles, creating the right climate to support the culture?

How do you ensure that your people embody the organisation’s values and beliefs, demonstrating this through consistent behaviours and interactions every day so that the organisation can realise its core purpose?

And do you assess the impact of your organisational culture and climate on key measures, including the employee and customer experience?

Developing the climate to support your organisational culture is not a one-off event. It requires ongoing review, and yet it’s so easy to take your eye off the ball as you scale and grow. The introduction of new values and behaviours without question, can unintentionally dilute the culture and create silos. Far better to keep culture under constant review as the organisation develops and evolves, making conscious tweaks that build on firm foundations, rather than embarking on wholescale change.

Workaround have had the pleasure of working with organisations whose cultures have acted as an enabler for the workforce to collectively achieve great results. It didn’t escape our attention that these organisations were able to lean in, pull together and react quickly to find solutions to some tough problems during the pandemic.

That said, we’ve also experienced the pain of the toxic culture…

For the organisations who are waking up to the sad reality that they’ve let themselves go, or to the new leader who’s inherited a mess, all is not lost, it’s just time get back to basics. To reconnect to your core purpose, you’ll need to go on an environmental health kick, cutting out the crap and nourishing your organisation with more of the good stuff that can help it flourish and bloom. There’s no magic bullet, just a commitment to putting in the effort and acting consistently on the decisions you make about the path you’re taking, who’ll be on it with you and what you need to support your journey.

As a final word of caution…responsibility for organisational culture and climate is often given to HR. Of course we can help to define the culture and create the climate. We’ll reinforce it throughout the employee journey – through onboarding and engagement programmes and our policies and procedures. We’ll monitor the impact of these efforts on defined measures, and where necessary, engage with business leaders to manage behaviour that does not support the culture. But there is a but… it’s hard to introduce and embed culture change if we’re on the sidelines. The Board and senior leaders must ultimately drive and accept accountability for the organisational culture and climate they preside over, from the top down, bottom up and inside-out.

There cannot be a different standard for leaders. Their behaviours must be consistent with the message or risk undermining the objective. They need to believe in the core purpose, share the values and model the behaviours that they expect of their employees. If that’s not happening, it’s time to ask why and what are we willing to do about it for the greater good?…

Workaround have facilitated culture change programmes prompted by a range of different drivers:

  • Post-acquisition, as part of group harmonisation programmes;
  • As part of globalisation programmes; and
  • As part of regulatory governance programmes (SMCR).

Message us or give us a call if you need help:

  • Researching and presenting your business case for culture change;
  • Benchmarking your ‘as is’ culture and climate, identifying opportunities to enhance it;
  • Implementing programmes that support your journey.

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