Culture Change and Turnover

March 14th, 2012 — 5:30am

I think of organizational culture as “how we do things here”. It includes what is praised here, what is frowned upon, and what will get someone fired. Different cultural styles exist, from expertise-oriented, to inclusion-oriented. One style is not necessarily superior to another, but it’s important that everyone in the organization be aligned.

When cultural alignment problems exist, two things need to happen:

1. The leader needs to clearly communicate in words and by example “how we do things here”.

2. Team members who are unwilling or unable to align with the desired culture must be replaced.

If you want a high-energy, can-do culture and you have a low-stress, enjoy-the-process team member, it’s probably not going to work.

There is no such thing as culture change without turnover.

Of course the logical thing to do going forward is purposefully select employees who fit the desired culture at hiring time.