The Single Biggest Mistake We See From Companies Undergoing Culture Change

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Most DH fans are people who want to create or be a part of happier, more engaging, and more fulfilling company culture. It’s easy to WANT to create an awesome and profitable culture, but it’s harder to implement it. As we’ve guided companies on the next steps in their culture journeys, we’ve been able to determine what’s essential at the start when trying to create long-lasting culture change. Let’s breakdown one major mistake we’ve found that organizations make and how you can avoid it:

Let's start by saying, if you’re deciding to invest more into creating the type of culture you and your employees would jump out of bed and look forward to, it’s going to take a fair amount of work to establish what the foundation of your ideal culture will be. With us, some companies begin with a Masterclass or utilize coach|sulting services to jumpstart this initial process. When we are learning more about their culture, we always ask about team buy-in or otherwise known as team alignment among decision-makers and main supporters. It's a HUGE mistake not to have it from the start. 



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What is team buy-in?


Team buy-in or alignment occurs when teams involved in the success of a culture are in agreement on the need for culture change and are aligned with the importance of it.

I like to explain the importance of team buy-in with a very common [sometimes nerve-wracking] life phenomenon: introducing your new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family.

Most people want their new partner to be happily accepted and welcomed by their family to show how well they support the relationship. When this doesn’t happen, there’s stress, tension, conflict, and a lot of obstacles in the way of making this transition more smooth. We wish it didn’t happen, but we can’t help it, we’re human! When the dynamics of the family change, it can be tough to adapt without the right support and alignment.

Culture change is similar to this phenomenon because it changes the entire dynamic of an organization. It changes the way people work together, talk to one another, and the way employees see their jobs. It’s a big deal!


Related: The Overlooked Impact of Your Company Culture [FREE WORKSHEET]


So how can you ensure you have alignment at the start? Here are two pointers:

1) Identify pain points

Your decision-makers include leadership from the top. Though we’ve learned how culture contributes to a long-term profit strategy, it can still be difficult to get executives on board without identifying short term wins. To paint a clearer picture, evaluate some company pain points that could be alleviated through culture change. Some common pain points:

  • Retention
  • Recruitment
  • Customer Experience
  • Sales
  • Productivity

See what sticks and outline how culture can move the needle each pain point so you can get leaders on board. You don’t have to get everyone’s support off the bat, but the higher executive support you have, the better off you are.


Related: How a DH Masterclass Aligned Leadership for Sustainable Culture Change


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2) Designate a culture team


Once you have critical leaders on board, then you have to get support and alignment from employees at other levels. These employees are going to help you ensure that culture is maintained and supported by different departments and teams at an on-the-ground level. If leaders delegated employees to uphold this new culture framework without any personal connection to it, it’s going to fall flat.


Why? Because culture is something that is lived by every employee, so it has to be bought in at the employee level too. By designating a team of employees [“culture champions” as we like to call them], it brings accountability for your culture down to managers and their teams. You want your champions to be present in every level of your organization. 


Want to ensure you create successful culture change in your workplace? Watch our webinar:  



About the Author

Briana Krueger

Bri is the Impact Storyteller on the Delivering Happiness team. Working previously as a freelancer, her goal has always been to work with passionate people who are focused on helping individuals and businesses find their purpose. As part of DH, she now gets to accomplish that every day. Bri resides in Arizona and is lucky enough to enjoy the sun all year round.


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