At a recent speaking engagement, a vice president of HR stopped over to chat with me. Over the last few years, her department had rolled out a new employee engagement initiative with phenomenal results. Her CEO was so impressed that she received a bonus and a promotion. But there was a problem. She told me: “To be honest, I feel that our new culture is going backward. We made all these great strides, but every day we seem to lose a little more ground.”
This was disturbing to hear, all the more so because it’s not that uncommon a scenario. We all recognize that having a strong organizational culture is critical to success, and invest funds, resources and time accordingly. We work tirelessly to move the needle, and we rejoice when we achieve stellar results. But too often, the good news doesn’t last. Sometimes, we are even worse off than before we started.
How can you prevent your recent cultural shift
from vanishing quietly into the organization’s history books? Here are
six warning signs that you’re headed in the wrong direction.
Your culture change program is just another initiative. You know what they say about initiatives. People get really excited about the shiny new toy until the novelty wears off and the unpleasant work of caring for and feeding the change begins. Make sure your leadership and team understand that your cultural shift is meant to be long term, and continually reinforce their commitment.
You talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. Though you have done a terrific job communicating your change in organizational materials, speeches and training materials, your culture as experienced by actual employees is totally different from what you’re advocating on paper. For example, you can talk up work-life integration all you want, but if your managers don’t support some flex time in practice, your pretty words will eventually sound hollow.
For more where this came from, have a look at the full post at the AMEX Open Forum.