How to change culture in the workplace

by Georgia Parker | Feb 05, 2021

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Inciting a culture change in the workplace is no mean feat, but sometimes it’s necessary. Organisational culture is something that affects everything from communication to inspiration and wellbeing. But before we dive into how to change your workplace culture, let’s look at the culture that is needed for OKR success. 


Building a workplace culture where OKRs thrive

Your organisational culture should enable an ambitious drive for business growth through testing, learning and adapting. This should be carried out at a regular pace to stimulate and challenge your teams and people. 

OKRs thrive in a high energy work environment where learning is key and experimentation is encouraging. Alongside this, you should look to create an internal culture with a high level of psychological safety. This is where, as a minimum you make everyone feel included and welcome, that they are safe to learn, contribute and challenge the norms of the organisation. This is extremely important, as how do your people take calculated risks for growth if they don’t feel safe to do so? 


Changing workplace culture effectively

Internal culture is something that is very bespoke to every organisation, but there are a number of principles that will help leaders to create a healthy culture for their teams. We’ve discussed these in more details below.

Senior leaders must be aligned 

This includes when communicating the vision of the organisation, but also in role-modelling the behaviours you want. Leaders also need to appropriately challenge the behaviours they don’t want in not only their teams but also in themselves.  

Hierarchical involvement 

Culture is across the board so it is super important to involve as many people at all levels, locations and roles as possible in a dialogue about culture, company values and behaviours. Getting everyone involved shows you value their input and you are working towards making a change. 

Think long-term 

You need to take people along on a journey. It is important to recognise that you can’t impose a culture, values or behaviours on people. You need to enable an environment that helps them connect to it in their own way and then you’ll bring hearts and minds with you. 

Establish where your workplace culture is starting from, and where you want it to go

Do you know your starting point? Or is it just a hunch that you need to make a culture change? There are several tools available to help you benchmark your culture and provide you with baseline data. You could use an organisational cultural values assessment or team psychological safety assessment to provide you with this data. 

We can only manage what we measure, and this is no different from workplace culture. These two assessments are great for helping you understand the current culture in your business, what you want the culture to be and what needs to change in order for that to happen. Providing you with the steps to encouraging a positive workplace culture across your organisation. 

OKRs, when done right, are a great way of creating a healthy workplace culture. For OKRs to be successful, a positive organisational culture, psychological safety and commitment to shared company values are absolutely essential. 

Internal culture can be a real killer when implementing OKRs. You’ll need to pay attention to any cultural issues that arise. If you don’t it is highly likely that your OKR rollout will take longer and potentially fail. By bringing in OKRs you are making a decision to consciously focus on culture, values and behaviours alongside the actual implementation itself. 


Get in touch with one of our Giants today

At TBG we’re always happy to talk about improving workplace culture. So, if you’re wondering where to start and how to approach this in your own organisation, get in touch for some giant help.