Changing a company’s culture is like losing weight after an easy weight gain, a veteran HR leader said. It’s hard, it takes a long time to see some results, and a single donut could put the weight back on.
The level of difficulty to change a company’s culture is the reason why it sounds like a waste of time for leaders who are not willing to commit, said Trina Sunday, CEO of Reimagine HR.
“Can we change organisational culture? We can, but let's be real, it's bloody hard work and takes a really, really long time. Often longer than the tenure of many senior executives,” she said.
For Trina, one thing that leaders must understand with culture is that it is about the systems, structures, and processes that lead people’s beliefs and how they translate into behaviour.
This means efforts to change culture should be centred on the systems, not about changing the behaviours of people that may not suit your liking.
Culture change, she added, always starts from leadership, which means it requires “burning passion” and a carefully planned strategy.
Moreover, there isn’t one cure-all solution in changing an organisation’s culture because culture is always driven by the company’s aspirations and goals, which are always unique.
The most important thing in changing the culture of an organisation is keeping the people involved and engaged through various opportunities for feedback.
“Culture change is about critical mass and often that can mean crafting your culture change plan by listening to the people who are the foundation of your business,” Trina said.
The point of changing culture within an organisation is not just to look good in front of the public and the media, or even the government, she stressed. Culture is always about people.
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Trina draws her knowledge about company culture and managing people from her over 25 years of working in the HR space. Throughout the years, she worked with companies around the world, including firms in Australia, Asia and the UK.
Before taking the top leadership position at Reimagine HR, she took on various leadership roles, the bulk of which was with the Department of Fisheries in Australia where she spent a decade in HR.
As CEO of Reimagine HR, Trina aims to provide credible, creative, and game-changing HR solutions to businesses that want to make an impact on their people.