Challenges of Organizational Culture Change
Sqn Ldr Neha Malhotra
10 Aug 2021
Top management of organizations often tries to bring in cultural changes for the good, and while they intend for it to be seamless it often isn't. A change in culture isn’t easy and can do more harm than good if not implemented properly. Leaders need to understand that it is the people of the Organization who will implement the change and therefore they need to be on board that change is necessary. Here are a few reasons that may make Organizational Changes seem challenging:
1. The purpose of the change is not clear to employees. Effective communication of the intended change and openness to address concerns is the first step to ensure employees see changes are in their interest. When the purpose of the change is either not known to people or they are not convinced that it is necessary, they will resist change.
2. The process of change is not clear. Change in itself is hard, expecting a bunch of people to be on board and feel the same way about upcoming change is unreal. If the process of change is not known or clear to people, they would be anxious and have questions in their minds. They may question their ability to adapt and belong, it may bring insecurity of how they fit in, do they have the required skills, will it increase their workload, etc.
3. The change is drastic. Culture isn't a car wheel that can be turned around when the owner feels the need. A drastic change can be difficult to implement and can encounter a greater amount of resistance. Therefore, it is always good to make gradual changes.
4. Lack of Communication & Training. Adoption is easier when employees are ready for what's coming. There will be execution details impending implementation, but to make them prepared will ease them into the process of adapting to the new change.
5. Lack of feedback. It is crucial to take feedback from people to assess how change is working or if people are facing any challenges. The biggest gaps, resulting in ineffective changes, are seen when the understanding of details is different at each level of the organization. By seeking feedback, employees will feel a part of the decision and it will be easy to bring them on board and make implementation smoother.
6. Lack of reinforcement. Change is hard, sustaining it is harder. Lack of reinforcement of systems and processes & regular training can make it difficult to sustain the new culture.