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Is your company culture bringing new employees down?

by , 22 July 2013
You've got some fresh blood in the office - the new salesman was enthusiastic in his interview and his references said he was a real go-getter. But a few weeks at your company has turned him into a grouch who'd rather gossip than make sales... Just like the rest of your sales team! Here's how to find out if your company culture is sapping the potential out of new employees...

Last week, the BBC reported that a British man was on holiday in Belfast when a riot started – and he started rioting just to fit in!
This may seem like a bizarre thing to do, but it's the same thing in your company. After all, how often have you had an employee that starts with promise but sinks into the workplace's bad vibes second they actually start working?

The problem may be your company culture…

Whether you've thought about it or not, your company has a culture, reports The Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. The company culture consists of the values, priorities and power structures of your company.

You can get a glimpse into company culture when you look at the following things:
  • How employees dress (this shows the level of formality the company values).
  • How employees prioritise their tasks (this reveals what is most important to the company).
  • How you run meetings (this reveals the power and politics structures of the company).
  • Whenever the phrase 'that's just how it's done around here' is used (these are the unwritten rules of the company – they often reveal more than what's in your company manifesto).

Company culture can be your greatest asset or your worst enemy

If you consciously make your company culture great, it can be the lifeblood of your company.

If you leave it alone, it could fester into a disease that eats at your worker's energy!

And like the rioter in Belfast, new employees will want to fit in, it's human nature! If your company culture is negative, gossip-filled and unproductive, new employees would rather mimic other employees than rock the boat.

What to do when your company culture is bringing down new employees

If your existing employees are dragging the new ones into a culture of procrastination, rebellion or laziness, you must act. If you consciously change the company culture from within, the whole company will benefit.

But be warned: This isn't an easy task! You're basically setting out to change your employee's hearts and minds about what it means to work for your company – but it'll definitely be worth it.

Don't just give a speech about how things are going to be different now. First, set out the values you want to uphold: 'We always put the customer first' or 'We reward innovative thinking' and then create new processes that reflect those changes in a practical way.

Once you revive the company culture from within, you can introduce new employees to the revamped culture on their first day. This way, you're not leaving their productivity up to chance! 

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