The key to keeping a culture change from going back
One of the reasons that culture changes fail to change and stay that way is because there is nothing put in place to sustain it. When there is no plan to sustain the change, it will be a flavor of the week and revert back to the old ways. This is the final installment of a series on culture change and if you haven’t already, please go to the first post and start there.
So how do you sustain a change once it has taken hold? There are many ways to sustain the change, listed below are only a few of the ways. Regardless which activities are used; the change must continue to be nurtured to ensure it stays in place and delivers benefits to the business.
- Align The Change with the Business – This is the same topic as when planning the change. The change has to be aligned with the business objectives, or it will quickly go by the wayside. However, the only difference now is that the culture must continue to change as the business needs change.
- Leadership – Leaders need to continue an active role even after the initial embedding has been completed. This will continue to reinforce the change and communicate that it is not a flavor of the month. Also, leverage those informal leaders on the front lines to continue the change.
- Reinforcement – As with the initial change activities, continue to reinforce the right behaviors with monetary and non-monetary rewards.
- Assurance – Implement an assurance plan to monitor the change and how embedded it is. This assurance plan is not only about the change, but the processes that go along with the change. The change and processes should improve the performance of the organization. Use the assurance program to identify gaps and close them.
- Improvement – Use the team and people to actively identify improvements and implement the improvements. Keeping them actively involved in the change will help to ensure the sustainment of it.
Sustaining a change is one of the most difficult parts of the entire process. How do you ensure that the culture change you’ve worked so hard to embed will not go back to the old ways? How do you sustain the changes?
This concludes the series on changing the culture to support your reliability program. I hope it caused you do think differently about why your program may not be moving as fast as you like, or in the right direction and what you can do about it.
Remember, to find success, you must first solve the problem, then achieve the implementation of the solution, and finally sustain winning results.