5 ways to shake up your new team’s culture

Dear Evil HR Lady,

I just read your article, 5 Reasons employees aren’t sharing their ideas, and I’ve recently joined an organization as a manager where your list of reasons were the norm under my predecessor. I’m getting a lot of the ‘That’s not how we’ve always done it’ response, and nil creativity. The open and inclusive, asking for ideas style is drawing blank looks, confusion and well, fear I think.

Bear in mind, these people have worked for ten years in this repressive culture and are having a hard time letting it go. How can I demonstrate I want their ideas and will consider them thoughtfully, if they won’t try it out?

To read the answer click here: 5 ways to shake up your new team’s culture

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9 thoughts on “5 ways to shake up your new team’s culture

  1. One on ones are a great idea! If someone in the group is throwing a wet blanket on ideas and the team won’t share ideas in front of one another, one on ones will smoke that out.

    1. I’m a big believer on 1:1s. When I first had a boss that did that I thought “Geesh, you have 8 direct reports. You’re never going to get anything done!” Then I figured out how helpful they were and started to implement that for my own staff.

      30 minutes every other week is what I did and it worked for me.

  2. Regarding items 2 and 4, employees fearful of change (like unenlightened bosses) will quickly move to shut down upstart new employees. Sad but true. Countermeasure is to, first, find out what the bosses’ critical success factors are, second, tune the desired changes to improve those success factors (make the unenlightened bosses look good), third, then sell the potential detractors on why the desired change is good for them. Answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”

    1. The what’s in int for me is always a good question to be able to answer, when you’re the boss. It certainly helps people move forward.

    2. I think this is a great point. It seems that there is an increasing trend in listening to WII FM radio (otherwise known as “What’s In It For Me”). However, I think a major problem lies in the static that comes about with the receivers (pardon the pun). I believe when we start to involve the business around changing the channel, we sometimes run into snags with employer partnerships. We broadcast the want for change, but if we do not have employer buy-in from the start, we may lose the edge with sponsors necessary to put their “money” where their mouths are.

  3. It seems like you’ve been getting a lot of good questions like this lately: people who have identified an issue in their workplaces and want to make positive changes. How refreshing!

  4. In my (recently) previous job, they brought in a new VP to oversee our company and another. He asked for suggestions but when I emailed him something, it was never acknowledged. Now they are restructuring and my position and the marketing assistant’s position were discarded and we were laid off. Apparently that was only a gladhand move designed to lull us into complacency.

    I learned my lesson. I will never respond to such a request again.

  5. It seems to be how you respond to things these days. If your in any way negative, or even if your not “senior” enough – people will not listen to you.

    I’ve even been told “you can’t report this to such and such, that would be going over your bosses head” etc.

    What do you do when your boss is the problem? (I know managers get a raw deal, however if a manager has a 200% turn over rate you can be sure there is an issue with the manager!)

    If the higher ups don’t want to deal with the elephant in the room, what does the employee do?

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