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Increased demands from citizens for transparency and speed, the implementation of digital administrative services or demographic change and the associated battle for talent: New challenges require a cultural change within public administration. However, the culture of organisations is largely shaped by their employees. The organisation's managers are responsible for facilitating this change. 

High expectations are attached to the concept of cultural change. However, it is important to allow sufficient time for change and to take small steps so as not to overburden those involved in the process. Change management is therefore essential on the path to change.

The design of the organisational structure and processes plays an important role in cultural change. A more agile organisational structure enables rapid adaptation to market changes and strengthens the innovative capacity of the public sector. The development of flexible working groups and the promotion of a creative environment are essential to support innovation.

  • Modifying the organisational structure: The hierarchy and structure of an organisation reflect its values and strategic goals. During a cultural change, changes may need to be made to the organisational structure in order to better adapt to new cultural guiding principles.
  • Intensifying communication: Cultural change requires increased collaboration, flexibility and open communication, which can be supported by an adapted process organisation. In contrast to the organisational structure, which refers to the structure, i.e. the responsibilities within an organisation, the process organisation is concerned with the dynamic processes within the structure.
  • Development of new operational processes: Due to demographic change, internal processes need to be modified in order to meet the expectations of future generations.
  • Implementation of new technologies: New technologies harbour great potential for increasing efficiency. The skills development of employees should be closely monitored in order to make the best possible use of the technologies.

Without evaluating one's own management style and the changed culture brought about by new generations of employees, proactive change within the company is not possible. The result: the company loses its competitiveness.

  • Analyse the need for change: Many companies will not remain competitive in the coming years because they have not identified the need for change. 
  • Change management: Establishing change requires a sound analysis of the existing culture and the definition of concrete goals for change. The involvement of employees is crucial in order to promote acceptance and commitment to the changes. Open communication about goals and steps as well as training to teach new skills are essential.
  • Shaping the management style: Authoritarian management styles with a strong hierarchy are no longer in keeping with the times. It is also important for the various management levels, from organisational management to HR managers and middle management, to adapt to the cultural change and adjust their management style. Implementing participative leadership and a bottom-up culture are suitable measures for successfully realising cultural change.

The area of employees is closely linked to the area of leadership. The younger Generation Y (born between 1980 and 1995) and Generation Z (1996-2012) in particular have different expectations of their employers than previous generations. With their changing demands and needs, these two generations will have a significant influence on and shape the labour market in the coming decades. It is important for organisations to take their requirements and wishes into account.

  • Work-life balance: An important factor for both generations is the compatibility of work and private life. However, the demands of the two generations differ. While Generation Y favours maximum flexibility, it is more important for Generation Z to establish a strict separation between work and private life. For organisations, this represents an area of tension for which they need clear rules in order to give employees security and trust. 
  • Diversity and inclusion: Diversity is not just about ethical responsibility. Diversity is also a success factor for increasing innovation and performance. Appreciating different backgrounds and promoting equal opportunities within the organisation are essential for a culture of diversity.
  • Establishing a health and social economy: The well-being of an organisation's employees is promoted by a health and social economy. In addition to flexible working time models, measures can include mental health support, sports programmes, healthy and affordable lunch options or the promotion of employee involvement in social projects.
  • Measurable success and regular evaluation: Clear objectives and measurable success are key to cultural change. Regular progress reviews and a feedback culture as well as top-down, from management to employees, and bottom-up, from employees to management, are necessary to ensure that the implemented measures meet the expectations and needs of employees.

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