“What’s the quickest way to change your culture?” Pablo asked.
“Great question,” I replied. “Shifting culture usually takes time and intention.”
“But, there is a way,” Pablo nodded.
“Is this a trick question?” I wanted to know.
Pablo continued to nod. “It’s not a trick, but it’s generally not where you look. The quickest way to change your culture, is to bring in new people. They bring a culture with them.”
“Unfortunately,” Pablo continued, “that culture they bring with them may be counter to the culture you intend. If, based on surveys, we find that most people are disengaged at work, then I assume most companies have cultures that are disengaging. In companies where people feel undervalued, underutilized, not challenged, team members will engage in coping behaviors that may be counterproductive. They quit, and get hired by you. Guess what assumptions they bring with them? And, that is where culture starts, with their assumptions, their beliefs, the way they see the world. Your initial employee orientation may be the most important time they spend to ensure they understand the new culture they will become a part of.”