Changing corporate culture

Transforming your culture

The culture of a business is defined by the way that people behave toward each other. It can’t simply be installed with a set of rules or a new slogan. It can develop organically, almost under the radar without any guiding hand. But it can also be shaped, developed and changed by design. We’ve worked with several clients across various sectors to instil new values, create new approaches and transform the personality of their organisation.

What are you aiming for?

For any programme of change, the aims must be clear. It’s vital to define and describe the behaviours you want to promote and encourage. What does that look like in practice and what kind of outcomes should these behaviours produce? Most importantly, how should this transformation fit in with your strategic goals? The more precise the planning, the more success we’ve found in the results.

Who are you really?

Before embarking on change, it’s important to understand your starting point. It may seem clear to you already, but it’s vital to look closely at every area and function of the organisation. From the boardroom to the post room, and from department to department, the perceptions of your company can vary considerably. Ensuring that behaviours are consistent throughout the organisation is the single biggest factor in creating a strong, lasting corporate culture.

Don’t just change, hire.

Changing the behaviour of your people is rarely a short-term task – especially if it’s a case of reversing entrenched approaches of long-term staff. Once we have a proper framework of competencies and behaviours, this should not only be promoted within the business, but should also inform any future recruitment. As such, normal staff turnover can be harnessed to transform culture, by bringing in the personlity you want with every hire.

Consider the ‘customer’

In a recent case, we worked with a charity to develop a competency framework that laid out the behaviours that were appropriate within the operating environment. While we spoke to staff at every level, accounted for the organisation’s specific aims and looked at the working processes, we were also careful to weave customer expectations into the finished framework of behaviours. Because, ultimately, the culture is not just reflected in the way people treat each other, but also in the way your people deliver the service – whatever kind of customer you serve.

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Get in touch

For more information about support for your business's human resources, call us on 0131 225 7458 (Edinburgh), 0141 459 7458 (Glasgow) or email