Grow a green thumb and tend to your corporate culture garden

24 April 2024

Your organisation’s culture is like the soil in your garden. Just as soil provides the foundation for your plants to grow, your company culture acts as the foundation upon which your people (and goals) operate and thrive. A healthy culture nurtures deep, strong roots that helps a company maintain stability during times of change and uncertainty. Ultimately, it stands as a rich foundation upon which your organisation builds identity, values and practises. So we need to get it right.

As your organisation evolves and adapts to changing environments, the need for cultural transformation will inevitably arise. Whether it’s embracing innovation, fostering inclusivity or enhancing collaboration, culture change is a complex endeavour that requires a carefully-strategised groundwork.

Your secret garden tool? Internal comms.

Internal communications will bring colleagues on the journey and answer the all important question: ‘why?’

Effective communication of the ‘why’ behind the transformation is fundamental in garnering employee buy-in and alignment. Culture change happens because we want to give people the best opportunity to do their best work. By articulating the rationale behind change and how it will helpcolleagues, we can align teams on purpose in a sustainable way. Whether it be through email, newsletters or intranet portals (or all of the above), leadership must be visible throughout this process and shown to be invested in and role modelling change. Be transparent. It’s not easy, but it pays dividends.

Internal comms helps dialogue and engagement to bloom – creating avenues for two-way communication between leadership and your people.

Cultivating a culture of openness and inclusivity is paramount in fostering trust and collaboration during times of change. Platforms such as employee forums, suggestion boxes, and interactive workshops will naturally encourage feedback, insights, and ideas from employees at all levels. Actively listening to employee concerns, addressing their apprehensions and incorporating their input into the change process will empower your people to become co-gardeners of the new culture. This sense of ownership not only enhances employee morale but also cultivates a culture of accountability and resilience in the face of change.

As the Romans said – “repetition is the mother of learning”.

Your internal communications strategy works to reinforce cultural values and behaviours through consistent messaging and storytelling. Consistency will instil a feeling of dependability into the way you communicate and encourage growth in your people – and it will naturally embed the target cultural norms into the fabric of the organisation. Whether it be through employee testimonials or success stories, you can showcase real-life examples of individuals embodying your values. You can celebrate your peoples’ milestones and recognise those who exemplify new cultural norms – this will reinforce the importance of living the values in day-to-day interactions.

Even the healthiest garden needs constant attention. We need to be transparent and communicative, to engage colleagues in a meaningful way and demonstrate action in response to feedback. Change is often perceived to be negative, a pointless exercise that causes more work and nothing changes. But if you help everyone in your organisation grow a green thumb, to take ownership of their own actions and believe in the wider purpose, your culture garden will flourish into the future.

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