4 min read

Organisational culture change: why you literally need to watch your language

You might have heard that 70% of organisational change initiatives fail. (McKinsey and Company)

Fortunately, your HR team can drive and manage change with software that monitors emails, instant messages and attachments. You can read about this shortly, but first, let’s go back a step:

What is organisational change?

The Harvard Business School defines it as “the action a business takes to change any of its underlying components, such as processes, culture, people, product, infrastructure, or technology.”

Important for HR

Here we’re looking at cultural change – a hot topic. Many HR departments are striving to promote equality, diversity and inclusion, and eliminate toxic behaviour and language.

Not only is organisational culture important from HR and legal perspectives; it also affects your corporate and brand identities and ultimately your bottom line too.

You only need to look at the UK’s CBI and Met to see the harm a toxic culture can do to an organisation and why they must change.

Unchecked behaviour becomes normalised, and this can have serious long-term consequences.

Gartner describes cultural change as “the process in which an organization encourages employees to adopt behaviors and mindsets that are consistent with the organization's values and goals.”

You may or may not be actively working on changing your organisation’s culture. In either case, it’s important to keep your culture aligned with your values – and be able to implement change quickly when necessary.

Here’s a simple and effective step you can take to improve it.

Improving your organisational culture

You can gain an insight into the health of your culture by checking your employees’ communications.

Not their personal conversations, of course, but rather their work emails and messages – communications which you have a legal right to view.

What are your people saying to each other, your customers and others outside your organisation?

What words and phrases do they use? Are they complying with your corporate values and policies?

Forbidden or restricted content

Your employees’ emails and other messages could include:

  • Racist, sexist or other inappropriate language
  • IP or other confidential corporate information
  • An attachment containing personal data
  • Bad-mouthing of your organisation or a rival
  • An obsolete product description
  • Leaking of time-sensitive data
  • GDPR breaches or infringements

You need to know who’s saying these things or sharing this information so that you can stop employees from including them in their communications.

But how? Monitoring all of your organisation’s emails and instant messages, internal and external, sounds like a tall order.

But it’s easier than you think with the right software. Cryoserver is designed to do this.

More than just a way to securely archive  emails, Teams communications and other messages, Cryoserver is a very powerful  search tool.

Monitoring employee communications

You can use Cryoserver to check emails, messages and their attachments for any of the content types listed above.

Its search facility can easily identify anything from a profanity to a phrase unique to your business.

You can search by:

Cryoserver searches with fuzzy logic. This is an approach to variable processing that allows for multiple possible truth values to be processed through the same variable.

You can automate and schedule your search criteria to run daily. Cryoserver will then alert your data guardians (HR, Legal or whoever) about individuals using these terms.

What’s the point in being alerted after the offending email/message has been sent?

It’s so HR can identify training gaps and take appropriate and proportionate actions to stop offences from being repeated.

More importantly, the mere presence of Cryoserver acts as a deterrent.

Your ‘speed camera’

Cryoserver’s search tool is like a speed camera. When drivers know there’s a camera ahead, they slow down, because they don’t want to get caught speeding.

Similarly, as our clients confirm, when you tell employees all emails are preserved in our forensic archive/evidential repository, they think twice before pressing “Send”.

This changes behaviour and forces cultural change.

And when you need evidence that a particular employee has gone beyond the limit and used unacceptable language, Cryoserver finds the evidence in seconds.

It’s an effective way to police language usage, protect IT and enforce your organisation’s policies.

Enhancing your reputation

Once you’ve implemented Cryoserver, you can reassure regulators and stakeholders that your organisation is supporting a safe, healthy and compliant culture.

Examples of monitoring with Cryoserver

Most organisations will benefit from having our solution either pinpoint or deter the usage of profanities or other offensive language. In addition, some will have their own particular needs – here are a few examples:

  • One employee is accused of sexually harassing another via their organisation’s Microsoft Teams chats. Cryoserver finds their conversation, and Legal uses it as evidence in a tribunal.
  • Cryoserver finds an organisation’s emails are being sent to an unusual address. Further investigation reveals that an employee is sharing sensitive data (a breach of GDPR) with an unauthorised individual.
  • A director suddenly starts getting lots of unsolicited calls from recruiters. A Cryoserver search discovers an employee has emailed the director’s number to multiple contacts.
  • A firm’s customers start being approached by its rival’s salespeople. Cryoserver finds the firm’s confidential customer contact list attached to an employee’s email.
  • An industry news outlet gets hold of top-secret information about a company’s new product. Cryoserver finds evidence of the information being leaked by a particular employee.
  • After one company acquires another, HR does a Cryoserver check to make sure employees aren’t still using old terminology from the acquired business.

Improve your organisational culture

If you want to implement cultural change in your organisation, find out how Cryoserver can help you – get in touch.


Book a demo of Cryoserver with us today.

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  • Easy Setup & Migration
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