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How to navigate a Culture Change

Over the past few years, there has been a remarkable transformation in the definitions of work culture, which essentially refers to “how things are done here.” Numerous elements like processes, technology, workflows, and training have been undergoing significant modifications as leaders strive to adapt to global pressures and fulfill the evolving expectations of employees.

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While culture drift may appear insignificant, it has a profound impact on the messages conveyed to employees and potential job candidates regarding the organisation’s core values. Even gradual shifts can result in substantial alterations in the experiences of employees, customers, and shareholders.

Some changes are readily apparent, such as major shifts in the location of employee work. However, most culture changes are subtle, gradual, and challenging to precisely define.

Taking control of culture drift is vital for the long-term success of your organisation. A strong culture has the power to attract exceptional talent, foster employee focus and engagement, and enable the delivery of outstanding customer experiences that differentiate your organisation from competitors.

Organisational culture plays an optimal role in creating the right people experience and maximising organisational performance. 72% of C-suite and board members agree that organisational culture significantly influences a prospective employee when choosing an organisation to work for.

The question is not whether your culture has drifted, but rather where and how it has shifted. Leaders have the responsibility to discern which changes are advantageous and which ones are detrimental.

Change Corp has been helping organisations managing culture changes effectively.

Through our experience working with clients, we have identified three lessons that can empower leaders to take control of culture drift and purposefully shape the future of their organisation’s culture:

Embrace authenticity: Leaders often feel compelled to fit their culture into preconceived notions. However, every culture is a unique blend of attitudes, values, beliefs, and work methods. No two workplace cultures are identical. Therefore, leaders should evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their distinct culture to determine the fundamental and valuable aspirations for their organisation.

Embracing a tailored approach allows leaders to cultivate a differentiated culture and a distinctive customer proposition.

Integrate culture with purpose and brand: Effective leaders understand that culture should not be treated as a standalone initiative. Instead, they consider their organisation’s purpose and brand when designing their culture. By embedding a strong purpose within the work culture, leaders ensure that the purpose becomes central to how work is conducted, going beyond mere inspirational words. As culture influences the organisation’s brand and external perception, leaders should shape their culture in a way that aligns with their desired brand promises.

Seek employee feedback: Effective leaders actively gather feedback from employees, employing both qualitative and quantitative methods, when shaping their culture. By measuring culture in the language of employees, leaders can ensure that the culture resonates authentically with the workforce. Providing employees with a voice fosters engagement, commitment, and a sense of ownership.

It’s important to remember that culture change occurs gradually, requiring leaders to commit to long-term investment in their culture as a priority. Consistently communicate your vision for the culture and lead by example. Executives play a crucial role in setting the tone and shaping the culture through their actions and words. Therefore, ensure that your behaviors align with the desired culture.

While culture drift can have positive aspects as an indicator of organisational agility, leaders must stay attuned to the pulse of their culture to guide its evolution in a direction that aligns with what matters most to the organisation. Importantly, leaders must go beyond merely discussing culture and instead demonstrate intentionality and long-term dedication to building a resilient culture that inspires people globally.

No organisation is immune to disruption and the resulting culture drift, and only leaders have the ability to proactively manage it.

At Change Corp we are working with clients to address these challenges.

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Change Corp is skilled in implementing intervention that focus on team development for a new future, and which can directly address the content and delivery of learning for team leaders. For more information on our Team Leaders for the future programme book a demo in the link below

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We have also produced a FREE ‘Cultivating Compassionate Leadership’ development lesson. Follow the link below to download the video and manual

Compassionate Leadership manual and video

Contact us if you would like to discuss how Change Corp can support you in these challenging times.

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