Strong leadership, trust, accountability and communication are key features required to ensure your culture change programme is successful, but another important aspect to produce long-term results is THE RIGHT TIME…
Human beings are creatures of habit, and change is often not always welcomed. Starting a Culture Change programme within the workplace can be challenging at the best of times.
But having to start all over again because the timing wasn’t right is only going to create obstacles further down the line. By ensuring that the right foundations are in place, the implementation of the change stands a better chance of being accepted, and in turn, successful.
When is the right time for a culture change journey?
To help you work out when IS the best time to start your culture change journey, here are five key factors to ensure a strong foundation is in place to help create a happier, healthier work environment.
1 Strong leadership
To expect a workforce to embrace change, the leaders must set the example first. Do you have a committed team prepared to drive the change forward? Any programme must first address leadership behaviour and confront those who behave unsafely themselves or fail to intervene when witnessing others.
2. Culture assessment ready
Is a strong safety management system already in place or is it seen as an inconvenience? It is important to establish the maturity of your company’s current safety culture by carrying out a culture assessment. Through focus group activities as well as questionnaires with your entire workforce, not just the leaders, it is possible to determine what stage in the culture change process your company is at.
3. Readiness over need
Has change been motivated because of a major injury or fatality? This improvement route is driven by ‘need’ rather than readiness, known as a ‘burning platform’. Culture change is much easier to implement in times of stability and relative certainty. If employees are expected to adopt changes quickly, it can be met with resistance and is likely to lead to issues further down the line.
4. Effective communications
How are your messages delivered? Are they engaging as well as informative? Are they face-to-face? But most importantly, are they believed? If communication is ineffective, people are likely to persist with ‘at risk’ practices.
5. Trust and Accountability
A weak safety culture would be high on individual blame and low on trust. In these situations, leadership may be viewed with suspicion and would need confronting first. Companies that exhibit a ‘No Blame’ or ‘Just and Fair’ culture in the event of an incident will be in a good position to embark on a journey of culture change.
Are you ready for change?
The crucial factor for the first step to change is the will to make the change. And for it to be effective, the programme must involve workers at every level. Assuming that the need for change is already being championed by the senior management group, then the next step is to change the mindset of middle management and then the supervisory grades.
Any changes you begin will only be sustained through the involvement of the wider workforce and so companies, and leaders, must be open to uncovering weaknesses in areas such as trust, accountability, responsibility and participation first.
Get help with Culture Change
If you’re considering a culture change programme, contact us for a free consultation or find out more about the Tribe approach to Culture Change.