Organizational culture is an integral part of any business. Culture is formed by a team and its way of doing business. An organization’s culture is its core values, customs, beliefs, practices, and processes.

One can define culture as the shared values or ethos of a people. Organizational culture, therefore, defines an organization’s attitude and behavior.

However, culture is not constant and can shift from time to time. Corporate culture change is sometimes necessary for companies to be more innovative and adaptive. Successful leaders understand the need to transform company culture into a more attractive representation of the company. 

change a toxic work culture
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What Drives Cultural Change?

Creating culture change in an organization may be necessary to improve the business, in fact, 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success. Some factors that drive change in companies are performance, change in leadership, new technology, mergers and acquisitions, and market conditions. 

Low performance is a typical driver of change in many companies. HR professionals often recommend implementing different management strategies to help improve employee performance and engagement. Similarly, culture change is sometimes necessary to keep up with the business’s growth. 

New leadership often comes with different visions for the business. Such restructuring necessitates the adoption of new strategies.

Adopting new technology undoubtedly shakes existing processes and strategies and brings organizational change. Therefore, the management has a responsibility to help employees adjust to reorganizations due to significant technological changes

Mergers and acquisitions involve blending cultures, therefore driving organizational culture change. Cultural change during mergers and acquisitions is vital to ensure the retention of top talent.

Due to globalization, businesses must continually develop new strategies to meet changes in demand. 

Changing The Culture In An Organization: 6 Tips To Follow

Company culture significantly impacts employee performance and engagement, customer satisfaction, and company revenue. Positive company culture promotes employee engagement, performance, and retention, ensuring the company meets its goals and objectives.

On the other hand, a toxic workplace culture creates disengaged employees and discourages clients from doing business with the company. Therefore, if HR leaders detect signs of a toxic culture, it may be time to reevaluate and start the cultural change process.

Changing the culture in an organization requires a systematic and holistic approach, unlike process improvement plans. A mindset shift is imperative to culture change because it is a long-term initiative that requires all employees to be onboard.

Below are six essential tips to follow to create culture change:

1. Assess current organizational culture

Assessing the current organizational structure is a critical first step in cultural change. The initial assessment will help you determine the challenge you are up against. 

Find out which type of organizational culture your company follows. For example, consider the interactions between the leadership team and employee focus groups. Also, find out how much time is spent in meetings.  Some companies set up a culture committee to assess the culture, develop performance indicators, and support change.

What kind of business model do you have? Is it quiet and independent or vibrant and collaborative? Do you have accessible leaders? Is there a general sense of top-down transparency, or do employees need help to trust the leadership? Are there career advancement opportunities for employees?

You can use quick surveys to reveal employee experience and how motivated and passionate your employees are. Strong employee engagement is an indicator of a strong positive company culture

Analyze the results of employee surveys to determine your key focus areas. Then, consider the elements of your culture you want to keep and those you wish to eliminate. 

2. Define your goals

Do your company values align with your ideal organizational culture? First, lay out your core values and re-evaluate them. Then, are these values upheld in your day-to-day operations? Remember, a well-thought-out value system is the bedrock of a strong company culture.

Outline your company’s mission and values and how you plan to achieve them. You need to develop a more innovative culture to accommodate the dynamic competitive corporate landscape. 

Once you have outlined your goals, ensure that the leadership is aligned on these core values. The HR leadership, C-suite members, and long-term employees should all be bought in before these values are pushed to the rest of the organization. 

3. Communicate with your employees

Creating a strong culture takes good internal communication and trust. According to a research by McKinsey, well-connected teams can increase their productivity by 20 to 25%. Organizations seeking to proactively change culture must keep their employees in the loop. Communicate changes in advance and give them opportunities to share their thoughts and opinions.

Organize exciting company-wide events to promote new initiatives aligned with the company’s core values. Such events will promote positive employee relationships and help get the entire team on board with the transformation process.

Employees should be properly supported and not feel forced into compliance with a new culture. Communication with employees shouldn’t be harsh since though leaders may demand compliance, they can’t dictate optimism.

4. Identify what needs to be changed

Begin to establish a clear idea of your ideal culture by imagining the kind of workplace you want. For example, do you want to promote a focus on quiet independent work or vibrant and creative collaboration? How do you want managers to communicate with their juniors? 

Collect feedback on how employees feel and consider their opinion on their ideal culture. Your employees’ input is vital as everyone plays a part in shaping a company’s culture. 

Establish multiple committees to manage the different responsibilities of each initiative. For instance, you may create a charity committee to oversee volunteer opportunities and a diversity inclusion committee to manage diversity efforts. 

5. Develop a schedule

Now that you have analyzed the data, it is time to take appropriate action. First, create a strategy and establish a schedule to track your progress. For example, you can schedule monthly diversity and inclusion training to improve diversity.

Timelines and benchmarks will ensure you keep track of your goals. Some guidelines for developing a schedule include the following:

  • Leading by example
  • Discouraging negative behavior
  • Reinforcing positive behavior through special perks and awards
  • Creating committees to oversee various change initiatives
  • Establishing a strong employee value proposition

6. Monitor results

Ask employees for feedback throughout the process to monitor progress. You can only determine that your action plan was successful through regular assessments. Conduct anonymous employee surveys and consider your employees’ input. Remember, a positive work culture is built on open communication and trust. 

How Do You Change A Toxic Work Culture?

30 million US workers think that their workplace is toxic. Toxic work culture is characterized by fear-based leadership, lack of recognition or motivation, unhealthy mental health competition, favoritism, speculation, and rumors.

In addition, a toxic work culture leads to high turnover, disengaged employees, absenteeism, dissatisfied customers, and tension. Below are some steps you can take to change organizational culture.

  • Communication: You can change a toxic work culture by encouraging open and meaningful communication. The management must ensure every employee knows everything they need to know when they need to know it. Meetings, handbooks, and training sessions will come in handy. 
  • Positive core values: Creating positive core values and ensuring everyone knows and lives by them helps model desired behaviors and gives employees a decisive action plan. Positive core values ultimately embed the desired culture among employees.
  • Dealing with absenteeism: Toxic workplaces feed fear amongst employees. Absenteeism is a symptom of unhealthy workplaces. Come up with solutions and a workable plan to deal with absenteeism and approach it from the point of care.
  • Get company reviews: If you are unsure whether your company is toxic, read online reviews to understand what others are saying about your company. This helps you spot a pattern of problems your employees might be facing.


Corporate culture is an organizational set of beliefs that drive a company. It is a significant part of company branding and helps optimize the work experience, allowing employees to stay true to their core values and work harmoniously.

Changing company culture doesn’t happen overnight and shouldn’t be handled in a way that stirs emotion. If your company needs more in some aspects of its current culture, it is best to cultivate the necessary steps to develop a well-rounded work culture.