CEO asleep at the company culture wheel? 5 ways to drive change

C-level executives are less likely to recognise a shortfall in their own company culture than other employees, according to a recent research report.

It found that boards and CEOs need a reality check around culture change and management, and in particular, there are five “hard truths” for companies around this:

 

  1. Culture problems are pervasive
  2. Culture problems are often immense
  3. Larger organisations have larger culture problems
  4. CEOs have trouble seeing culture problems
  5. Organisations need HR as a professional culture partner

 

“Despite the wake-up call delivered by the Hayne Royal Commission, it is alarming to see a clear disconnect still remains across Australian businesses between the CEO’s impression of company culture and what is being felt at the frontline,” said Lyn Goodear, CEO of the Australian HR Institute (AHRI), which conducted the report.

 

“They have to take accountability for their company culture, culture change, and to ensure that competent HR backed by industry certification guides cultural change.”

 

HR team members proved the hardest critics of company culture, according to the research report which was conducted in conjunction with Insync and took in almost 1000 professionals across Australia.

 

The research found that 90 per cent of respondents agree/strongly agree that their organisation’s culture is critical to the successful execution of strategy, while 95 per cent agree/strongly agree that CEO and executive leadership behaviours have a significant impact on their organisation’s culture.

 

A further 92 per cent agree/strongly agree that their organisation should make the best use of its human capital, but only 20 per cent agree/strongly agree that their company culture currently reflects this.

 

Survey responsents were asked to identify where their company culture was and where it should be in relation to many survey items measuring ethics and sustainability, and around 22 per cent thought there needed to be some change and 34 per cent thought that significant change was required.

 

“It is alarming to see a clear disconnect still remains across Australian businesses between the CEO’s impression of company culture and what is being felt at the frontline” 

 

4 keys to driving real culture change
The report also provided four guidelines for organisations and HR professionals to improve outcomes around culture and culture change.

 

1. Ask penetrating questions. It’s crucial to obtain a realistic view of the current culture, have a firm idea of the desired culture and a commitment to achieving it, according to the report, which said the organisation should be asking itself a number of questions, such as:

 

  • How self-aware are your organisation’s CEO and executives? Do they know that most employees see a greater need for cultural change than most CEOs and executives?
  • Are your board and executives united in their description of the organisation’s vision, expected values and behaviours, and of the company culture it hopes to have (in say, three years)? Do you have a robust plan to get there?

Source - Read More at: www.insidehr.com.au