When Will I See Results with My Culture Initiative?

By David Friedman, CultureWise Founder and CEO

If you’re a business leader, you’re results-oriented. You want to know that expenditures are worth it, initiatives take hold, and goals are achieved. And you’d prefer to see evidence that things are improving sooner rather than later.

So now that you’ve decided to work on your culture in a more systematic way, you might be wondering,

“How long will it take for us to experience results, and what exactly is it that we should expect to see?” 

Your Culture Initiative is a Game Changer

There are lots of articles that claim it can take years to really change a culture, but that hasn’t been our experience at CultureWise.  We’ve consistently seen noticeable change happen much faster than that with our clients.  Of course, a complete change doesn’t happen overnight. But with the right catalyst, things can start to turn around much quicker than you might expect.

Think about sports, for example.  How often have you seen a team bring in a new coach who transforms the culture almost immediately? His mere presence and the example that he sets inspires everyone around him to raise their game.

That’s the effect that an operating system for culture, like CultureWise, has on a workforce. The implementation of a program with a reputation for improving the overall work experience and driving success sparks buy-in and excitement. You’ll notice a game-changing shift of energy and commitment right off the bat.

Two Culture Changes You’ll See Right Away

We’ve implemented CultureWise in more than 350 organizations, so we’ve got a good sampling to draw from.  In virtually every one of those cases, there are two things that happen almost immediately following the rollout of the program:

  1. The use of a common language
  2. Behavior shift

COMMON LANGUAGE

The first thing we see, and this is significant: people immediately begin to use the language of the Fundamentals.  As you’ll note with our company’s set of Fundamentals, they are written to describe the specific behaviors that team members should consistently follow to propel their company to the top of its field. 

The vocabulary used in the titles and descriptions of the Fundamentals forms a core language that everyone begins to use soon after CultureWise is introduced. People read and hear about the Fundamentals in a variety of rituals that are part of our program. And it doesn’t take long before this new internal language catches on. 

Team members begin to reference the titles of the Fundamentals in day-to-day discussions. Even if they’re half-joking – “Hey, that was Fundamental #6” – the language is beginning to sink in. 

We have more than 75 videos of business leaders talking about the impact of implementing CultureWise.  A common theme in these testimonials is the benefit of the common language provided by the Fundamentals.  If you view them, you’ll hear things like:

“It’s just become our language.” 

“It’s the way we think and talk.” 

“It’s just the lens through which we look at things.” 

Adopting a common language is the beginning of adopting a common way of thinking—and ultimately, a common way of behaving.  That’s a big change, and it starts to happen on day one.

Behavior Shift

The second thing that our clients tell us they see almost immediately is a shift in behavior prompted by the Fundamentals. Team members start to operate differently after CultureWise is introduced than they would have the week before – because they’re using the Fundamentals to guide their behavior. 

Here’s just one example.

A Fundamental chosen by many companies is “Practice Blameless Problem-Solving.” It’s about focusing on solutions instead of blame, and it’s relevant to just about any group of people. 

We’ve all seen situations when a mistake leads to a bout of finger-pointing that sours feelings and, more importantly, doesn’t solve the problem. But after this Fundamental is introduced, people in the same circumstances will react differently because they have a blueprint to deal with it.

Now when team members get together to assess an error, the first thing they’ll say is, “Remember, we need to practice blameless problem-solving here.”  The Fundamental sets the tone and perspective for the group and they collaborate to solve the issue.

The emphasis shifts from “who” did this to “what” happened, allowing everyone in the entire group to see what they can learn from the mistake. Then they can work together to develop and implement a process improvement to prevent it from recurring. 

That’s a big difference! And once again, this kind of behavioral shift starts happening almost right away. With continued practice, it becomes more deeply embedded in how people think and act.

What to Expect Next

Once CultureWise is up and running in your company, you’ll start to see an evolution in how your people operate. For instance, you’ll witness:

  • Greater cooperation between departments and a reduction of “silos
  • More people willing to go the extra mile for a customer or for a teammate
  • Higher engagement scores and lower turnover
  • Better recruiting—your culture will be a top reason people want to work for your company

And interestingly, you can expect to win some business as a direct result of your Fundamentals.  You obviously still need the right products and services, but you’ll have customers who choose you because they feel aligned with your culture and trust you more.  That’s pretty powerful.

Culture Improvement is for Every Business

You may be thinking that you would like to improve your company’s culture, but you don’t really have big problems that need to be solved. You may be wondering if CultureWise is only for companies with poor cultures.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Nearly every organization we’ve worked with came to us with a culture that was already good—one they were proud of.  Many had already won plenty of Best Places to Work Awards.  It’s because they already had a good culture that they recognized just how important it was. And that’s what made them so determined to work on it in an even more systematic way. 

They wanted to go from good to great.

And they were on their way to becoming even more outstanding as soon as CultureWise clicked into gear. Done right, culture change doesn’t have to take a long time. And the more you practice, the more those changes become permanent.

Of course, nothing happens unless you begin.  So don’t wait any longer.  Contact us to get started on your way to greatness today.

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