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The first step is defining what values and behaviors you’re seeking.
Former GE CEO Jack Welch once famously said, “The soft stuff is the hard stuff.” The business adage rings true for HR professionals trying to initiate culture change in their organizations.
“I know a lot of people think culture is a mushy, fuzzy concept,” says Norm Sabapathy, executive vice president of people at Cadillac Fairview Corp., an owner and operator of commercial real estate in Toronto. “But, increasingly, research is showing that people really do care about culture.”
So much so, in fact, that senior executives are finally starting to pay attention—which presents a tremendous leadership opportunity for HR, Sabapathy says. The notion of “culture,” loosely defined as the beliefs and behaviors that govern how people act in an organization, emerged in the 1980s and is now believed to be a major determinant of a company’s success or failure. Companies on Fortune’s list of the best places to work—known for their strong cultures—have stock performance that is double that of other organizations.
Culture is considered a potential competitive advantage by 82 percent of more than 7,000 CEOs and HR leaders from 130 countries, according to the Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report. Yet only 28 percent of the Deloitte survey respondents believe they understand their culture well, and only 19 percent believe they have the “right culture.”
To help, Sabapathy provides 10 tips for driving a culture change:
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