If your company is lacking in teamwork and morale is poor it follows that profits will be weak. Chances are you need to change your organization’s culture.

Be forewarned, changing a culture is a monumental chore because it will take strategic planning and super powers of persuasion.

Usually, it necessitates an outside participant to assess your culture and to facilitate the changes.

Candidly, as a business-performance consultant, I really don’t have to look at the financials to see the problems. It’s possible to “read the room” by watching how employees interact with each other in teamwork, and with customers and vendors.

The solutions

Most cultures require change when there isn’t engagement – not enough listening. Get a snapshot of your situation.

Develop a listening plan of action for all stakeholders – employees, customers and vendors.

Determine a mission and the likely solutions, such as more employee ownership of the work, better processes or more accountability.

Include models of the desired outcomes, and then communicate what you desire in a new culture.

Your employees will have to learn why culture change is imperative.

They will have to be motivated to make needed changes.

Along the way, you’ll have to solve the customary political turf battles.

So you approach it like any marketing challenge – create centers of influence within your company – get key employees to buy into it.

Find ways to illustrate the problems facing the company. Show them firsthand.

Analyze your staff. Understand that your managers are part of the problem – commonly, they probably ignore most of the workforce because they play favorites.

Analyze your bench strength – an often-overlooked trait for sustainable competitiveness.

After all, you should strategize for a competitive edge.

Good employees want to be involved. They want to feel trusted. Show more empathy to employees by allowing them as much career/personal life balance as possible.

You should focus on powering your brand with employee empowerment.

Create a new physical environment. Reorganize work station locations. Engage your employees twice a day – walk the floor asking open-ended questions. Show them you’re approachable.

Key HR training steps

Keep in mind the above ideas, and implement a human-resources communications-training program for a cultural change.

Remember your centers of influence. Supervisors are trained first, then the non-exempt staff.

Understand that your managers are part of the problem – commonly, they probably ignore most of the workforce because they play favorites.

Experiential training modules for employees should include:

  1. Transparency of the organization’s current financial picture and a forecast
  2. A SWOT analysis – the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the marketplace
  3. Assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization in dealing with all stakeholders – employees, customers and vendors
  4. Share solutions with all employees
  5. Show employees how to conduct their own confidential personal assessments, and how their roles affect the company
  6. Motivate them to be fully engaged

Because each situation is different, the priorities of the modules can vary slightly. This works in the public and private sectors.

As a result, a company culture improves for a happier, more congenial environment. Individually, employees increase their self-esteem by double-digit percentage increases. This leads to more profits.

Historically, about 10 percent of employees resist such training. Usually, they need alcohol or drug treatment. Of the two, drug addicts have been the most hardcore and are the most ethically challenged. So I advise the client such people aren’t trainable.

Employees should be referred to your employee assistance program, and be given a chance to improve via a progressive disciplinary process. Use the Golden Rule. Treat the employees as you would like to be treated – as a human capital asset.

Accomplish these principles, and you’ll enjoy more profits.

From the Coach’s Corner, here other HR resource links:

“Change is hard because people overestimate the value of what they have – and underestimate the value of what they may gain by giving that up.”

— James Belasco and Ralph Stayer


Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.