There are many reasons why you would require a change in company culture. While it could be due to mergers and acquisitions, new management, a new company, an existing toxic culture, a lack of culture, etc., the need of the hour is to deal with the effects of the pandemic on corporate life. With a sudden change in the way we work and the slightly alien process of working remotely, much has changed in the corporate world. Not only is business being handled differently, but the so-called ‘office culture’ has taken a hit too. Since most people aren’t even in the office anymore. Glassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019 discovered that over 77% of adults from the United States, UK, France, Germany would consider the culture of a company before applying for a job. But, the circumstances are new, and it calls for a renewed, revised culture and process of how things should work. The business world is more than familiar with the phrase - ‘The soft stuff is the hard stuff’. And right now the hard stuff is a priority to make sure business runs as smoothly as possible as soon as possible. Identify what needs change Before setting the whole company on an overhaul, first identify what needs to change and why. Speak with your team and get their opinion on what’s working and what’s not. Speak with your colleagues and decide what kind of change will help resolve those issues. Speak with your seniors and ask them what their experience can help with. Be an example If you want the team to change, and to change the culture of your company, you will have to lead that change from the very beginning. Make sure they have someone to follow. Expecting them to take up something while you yourself do not follow it will create more problems than the existing ones you are trying to solve. The team will not take the changes seriously if you allow them to overlook them in the beginning and enforce them later. You must understand that employees are also going through a confusing time during an unfamiliar and unprecedented time like this and their job is their lifeline. So from the very first day, make sure you act as per the new guidelines. If you do forget, make it a point to point that out and offer an alternative according to the new culture. Define the changes clearly Without complicated jargon, in very simple language, illustrate the details of the change in culture. Use language that is understood equally by everyone in the company, whether interns, managers, or executives. While it should be detailed, it also needs to be to the point. It should be written systematically so that it is easy to understand and easy to execute. Articulate each point with how the behavior associated with that point should be for every type of employee in the company - whether interns, managers, or executives. In order for there to be no misunderstandings and lack of clarity, it needs to outline each employee’s behavior in daily matters, processes, meetings, etc. New culture for new business strategy Don’t forget the reason why you are installing new culture in the first place. As you enforce the new rules and new culture also make sure it aligns with the new strategy and that it will help achieve the new business goals through the pandemic. Keep an eye on the correlation so that even when you do change the culture of your company, the company culture is never misaligned with the company goals. Reviewing the success of the culture integration must also involve the result and its effect on the company goals. Review and revise It’s extremely important to review the integration of new culture regularly and revise it when there are changes and updates in the business strategy. Or if you plan to introduce new culture in stages of increasing intensity, then that needs to be reviewed and revised regularly to make sure the effect of the culture change is still valid. As we move forward through the different stages of the pandemic the company goes through different stages as well. The culture needs to always serve the company and its goals. Don’t forget the customer While drafting new culture for the company, keep in mind the market and your customer as well. What the internal company behaves like will also reflect on the customer experience. If both are not in sync it will derail and dilute the brand to the customer. The customer is just as turbulent a situation as your company so care must be taken to over-communicate to the customer to keep them connected and trusting of your company. Organizational culture is a lifelong investment. Right now employees need the company leaders to show them examples of how the new culture defines them. If you are going to change the culture of your company, make sure you keep your employees in mind. Summary Q. What is the first step towards a successful company culture change? A. The first step is to identify what actually needs change. Q. What are the important steps to take even after implementing the changes? A. Even after implementing the changes it’s very important to regularly review and revise the culture changes to make sure they are doing the job they were intended to in the first place.