Culture Change Consultancy: Your Questions Answered

When might an organisation need a culture change consultant?

Organisations have different reasons for wanting to work with a culture change consultant. Sometimes it’s as a result of responses to staff engagement surveys which suggest there is discord amongst teams or tension between employees and leaders. Sometimes there has been a period of change in the organisation such as a restructure, takeover or merger which has caused some tension or uncertainty. For other organisations, it’s part of their continuous improvement approach to their people and culture. They might have done some work on values and behaviours and want some help bringing this to life. For others it’s about making theirs a great place to work and being able to attract and retain the best people. 

What kind of roles does a culture consultant perform?

Culture consultancy can take many different forms and the exact nature of the work undertaken will depend on the needs, and budget, of the organisation. Change doesn’t happen overnight, so organisations see the best results when they commit to working with a culture change consultant over a period of time. 

The first step in the consultancy process will usually involve getting a good understanding of the current culture within the organisation. Looking at staff survey results and speaking to leaders and team members will usually form part of the initial stages of consultancy. 

Once the consultant has a good understanding of where the areas of focus are, they can start to put a programme together which will usually involve workshops with people across the organisation, perhaps some additional sessions with leaders, and sometimes one-to-one or group coaching with particular groups of individuals, such as the senior leadership team. 

Some organisations want to dip their toe in the water before they go for the full consultancy service and that’s why The Happy Business School offers a range of workshops and keynotes to get you thinking about how to create a thriving workplace culture and increase happiness at work. 

What difference does working with a culture change consultant make? 

Let’s get one thing straight, culture consultants don’t have magic wands. It takes hard work and sustained effort to shift a culture. Culture consultants can, however, help get everyone on the same page and pulling in the same direction. They bring an outsider’s perspective which comes with an ability to ask questions and provoke discussions that can sometimes be difficult to do internally. Plus they will have bags of expertise, tools and techniques to help people to flourish and thrive. Each culture change consultant has their own way of doing things and here at The Happy Business School the focus is always on happiness as the number one driver of success. Happy people are more productive, more collaborative, provide better service, are more creative and better at overcoming adversity. So our approach is to start by looking at how we can turn up that happiness dial and use that as a springboard to develop a thriving people-centric culture. 

What are the benefits to the organisation of working with a culture change consultant? 

The specific results leaders are trying to achieve by working with a culture change consultant will vary from organisation to organisation. However, there are definitely common outcomes that will result from a committed focus to creating a happy, thriving workplace culture. Generally we see teams work more effectively together, relationships between leaders and their people improve, there is renewed energy, focus and commitment across the organisation, communication improves both in quality and frequency, people are more productive, resilient and come up with more creative and innovative ways of solving problems. In customer-facing roles people provide better service and in sales-based roles you will often see results improve. 

If you want to find out more about how The Happy Business School can help your organisation improve workplace culture, so you can see some of these results for yourself, then get in touch for a free no-obligation chat. 

5 myths about happiness at work

Wrong. The absence of disease isn’t health and the absence of misery isn’t happiness. Just because we might do enough as leaders to not have our people crying at their desks doesn’t mean we are invested in their happiness. Just because an employees comes in every day, does a good job and leaves without complaining about anything doesn’t mean they are happy.

Wrong. It’s right that some some people are more naturally optimistic but, with practice, you can become happier. There is a wealth of science that shows, when we know how, we can train our brains to be more positive. Asking someone to write down three good things that have happened in the last 24 hours may appear glib but this is about training the brain to spot positive things. When we learn to look for things we see them more easily.

Wrong. In fact blind optimism is a bad thing. Who wants to be in a plane where the pilot never believes anything bad can happen so doesn’t bother doing all the safety checks (not me for sure!). Just like in the world of work we don’t want to fail to look out for the risks and dangers, we just don’t want to be overwhelmed by the fear of them.

Wrong. The science tells us that being happier at work makes us more productive, more resilient, more creative, more accurate, more analytical, less likely to take time off sick, leave or burnout. Who doesn’t want those benefits? Yes, what a great wellbeing initiative to be able to say we are interested and investing in your happiness but it goes much further than that. There are real business benefits to helping people increase their happiness.

This one is only a half myth. Yes, people need to be invested in working on their own happiness but as a leader it is for us to help them with that, to show them we value their happiness, to allow them time to work on it, to give them the tools they need to become happier at work. Importantly we need to help them understand why being happy at work is important. As a leader if you can show you are invested in your own happiness it will show your people they should invest in theirs too.

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