Changing Culture in Business

First let’s have the same definition of business culture.  Business culture is the way your organization operates, it’s customs, attitudes, protocol, procedures, and etiquette etc.   On the web (google) culture is defined as:
Etiquette (pronounced [,eti’ket]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group. The French word, signifying ticket (of admission, etc.) first appeared in English in 1750.

So for businesses I think it is safe to say that this is the way that the business wishes to have the people working for it act, behave, believe and be within the company structure.  The business wants the rules followed yes but it also wants the employees to believe in what they are doing, feel that customers are important, that employees look nice, have great attitudes, and have a work ethic of getting the job done.  There’s more but let this suffice for now.

So what happens when you want to change the culture?  This gets interesting because every time there is a new employee culture is changing.  This employee brings in beliefs and ways os acting and being that has an effect on the company.  Most of the time these are small changes because there are many other employees.  This will only have a big effect when there is high turnover or many new hires at once.

But changing culture because it is something a company wants to do is not an easy feat.  It will also take time.  The new thinking will have to be explained and what often happens is it is not reinforced for a long enough period.  People have to understand the change and then it needs to be implemented and practiced.  Even if changing part of the culture were to now have uniforms where that did not exist before, the proper wearing of the uniform would need to be reinforced.  The culture part of this however is instilling in the employees to wear the uniform the correct way from their own motivation or because they know it’s the right thing to do.  It’s the belief system.  Something like we do it to look good for the customer and we want to show a great image in the company and what we do.

Culture change is not instantaneous.  It takes time and it takes effort.  It takes reminding.  Any culture change should be thought about and planned.  But if it is about doing better for the customer than it is most likely worthwhile.