Mapping Out Culture Change Management for Sustainable Transformations

Stevie Carpenter
Published 05/03/2024
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Change Management for Sustainable TransformationsTransforming your business in any capacity is a major undertaking that calls for a skilled hand, not to mention a good eye for detail. Culture change management takes this a step further–we’ll be discussing how and why shortly.

First, we’ll walk through a definition so we can clear up what culture change management actually is. After that, we’ll explore the facets of company cultures, as well as the reasons why workplace culture change management is so useful.

Lastly, we’ll share some best practices for excellent and sustainable management.

Let’s get started.


What Is Culture Change Management?

Company culture is a powerful thing. It can influence perceptions of and feelings about your organization or industry to the point that some cultures deter entire demographics.

However, not all organizational cultures are built to last. In many cases, cultures arise more incidentally than with purpose, which can easily lead to clashes between what the company wants to be like and what it is like in practice.

This is when you’ll want to implement culture change. And in order to make sure that this change is desired, realistic, and sustainable, you need culture change management.

This type of management refers to actively and intentionally overseeing cultural transformations within a company. There’s nothing passive about culture change management because it’s all about getting involved and carving out the company’s ideal culture on purpose.


Identifying Features of an Organization’s Culture

Before you can start managing it, you need to understand what makes up your current culture. The following factors are crucial in creating and sustaining any organizational culture.


New hires

It might sound strange to say that people who are still in the process of joining are key in influencing an organization’s culture, but it’s almost always true.

The fact is simply that the kinds of people who get hired are like a litmus test of existing cultural values and priorities within a company.

For example, let’s say your company uses an ATS (applicant tracking system). If the kinds of applicant tracking system features you prioritize on your ATS focus on diverse hiring practices, that’s a clear sign that your business’ culture values diversity. As such, your new hires give clues to your culture.



Does your organization place a strong emphasis on the traditional 9-to-5, or are staggered hours available? Can employees work remotely, and how do you define ‘hybrid working’ within your company? Also, what’s your approach to PTO like?

These questions give insight into the level of flexibility your organization offers, which in turn helps map out its culture.

Lower degrees of flexibility typically indicate a more traditional culture, while increased flexibility suggests a more modern mindset with greater emphasis on the employee experience. This typically creates more happy employees.


Employee satisfaction and turnover

When your employees are very happy with their roles, they’ll be less likely to leave your company. This means lower turnover rates and a warmer company culture, generally speaking.

On the other hand, organizations with high turnover rates tend to have less welcoming cultures, as new employees feel the need to leave soon after arriving. This often creates more stress for the employees who do stay, as they need to keep adapting to new conditions and changing teams.

Higher employee satisfaction is also broadly indicative of a company that values the needs and preferences of its employees. This also speaks to the overall culture within the organization.


Enhancing Employee Satisfaction Through Sentiment Analysis Tools

When it comes to ensuring a positive culture change within your organization, understanding and addressing employee satisfaction is paramount. Utilizing advanced tools such as sentiment analysis can provide valuable insights into the sentiments of your workforce.

These tools analyze employee feedback, identify areas of concern, and help in crafting strategies to enhance overall satisfaction. By integrating sentiment analysis tools into your culture change management initiatives, you can take a proactive approach to create a workplace that resonates positively with your employees.


Why Is Culture Change Management Essential?

Transforming a company’s culture is a long and involved process that takes both work and careful management. But don’t take our word for it blindly–the following reasons explore exactly what makes culture change management as valuable as it is.

Staying in control

Culture is rarely something you can put down concretely. As it’s a subjective concept by nature, it’s bound to feel different to different types of people, which makes it harder to pin down exactly what you’d like to include in your cultural shift and how.

This is why it’s so important to stay in control, something which culture change management helps you do.


Guaranteeing sustainability

In the same way that building sustainable careers is vital to creating a stable future, sustainability is essential to culture change. That’s why it’s so important that culture change management helps make this happen.

Below, we’ll talk more about how culture change can be made more sustainable through effective management.


Securing consistency

Good management helps make sure that there’s a uniform standard of experience throughout the entire company that’s undergoing cultural change.

For example, if you’re implementing a new API integration platform, culture change management would ensure that every team in every department gets to use that platform. This helps create full-company transformations as opposed to more localized changes.


How Can Culture Change Be Made Sustainable?

The shortest answer we can give here is that you’ve got to use culture change management tactically to ensure that your company’s culture transformation is sustainable and realistic. But what does that look like in practice?

The following best practices will help you get off on the right foot and ensure your transformation is sustainable. This will help you go about culture change management in the right way, right away.


1. Get everyone involved

One of the essential elements of sustainable computing is that everyone in the company should know how to use the computing tools and methods you’ve selected. Otherwise, they’ll start searching for their own solutions that they do understand, which creates disharmony and confusion on the whole.

The same principle applies to culture change.

It’s much easier to manage change when you’re confident that every member of the company knows what that change is supposed to look like. This lets employees report areas in which culture change is not happening as intended, for example.


2. Actively gather feedback

It’s not enough to simply say you’re open to feedback. Great managers know that effective management is not about issuing orders, but about collaborating and mutually co-operating, a principle which applies in the context of culture change management too.

You’ll want to take time to ask employees what they think about the changes they’re facing–multiple times.

This way, you can see whether the changes are being implemented effectively. You can also log which changes are beloved and which are not. This helps you be more prepared for any future culture transformations.


3. Update the whole company’s tech stack

Culture change is a lofty business goal. It can be tough to actualize, even with excellent team members giving it their best.

That’s why you need tech to help you make it happen.

In the same way that RPO technology can really help you optimize your recruitment outsourcing, a great culture change management tool will make it easier to monitor progress and address weak points.

Plus, you can always choose a solution that allows you to automatically gather and process feedback. This helps you get that precious employee feedback and really make the most of it every time.


4. Stay true to your goals

You can have an organization undergo the smoothest, most seamless transformation ever, and it might still not help that organization. This happens when the transformation in question does not align with the company’s goals, core values, or beliefs.

In order to secure a more sustainable transformation, be sure to consistently align your culture change management plans with your organizational goals and aspirations.

Good culture change management should aim to constantly assess whether new suggestions succeed in this alignment. If not, edits need to be made so the company can continue to represent its own values throughout the process of undergoing cultural change.


5. Approach change as an ongoing concept

When we think of corporate culture change, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of striving to ‘complete’ the process at a certain point. This actually works against you – and makes change less sustainable in the process.

In order to remain tenable, change has to be something that’s constantly happening so your company never stagnates. This helps guarantee that your internal culture stays consistent with useful new developments and ideas.

It also ensures you continuously and deliberately evolve your culture to include more employees and welcome diverse talent onboard.


Final Thoughts

Culture change management is absolutely essential for companies that want to keep thriving in today’s fast-paced business world. It helps keep things fully on track while companies are undergoing a major transformation, which helps those changes progress smoothly.

As chaotic as positive culture changes themselves have the potential to be, these are also necessary. They allow companies to become the best versions of themselves so they reflect their employees’ and stakeholders’ values and beliefs.

Effective management simply allows you to mitigate the risks while still getting the best results out of culture changes.


Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.