I hear leaders say all the time that, “When we hire this ____________ (new staff position), things will get better immediately.” However, did you know that every new person we hire is a sinner? Just like us! They have their own challenges...just like us! They have their own scars.just like us! They have their own personalities, quirks, strengths and weaknesses...just like us! So just because we add a new staff person doesn’t mean our problems are solved!
One person can’t or won’t fix everything. One more hire can’t turn an unhealthy culture into a healthy one. It’s far more likely that if a culture has been unhealthy, it can and will drain the life of a great new team member.
We need not look to hire a superhero and hope they fix our culture problems. It doesn’t work that way. Instead, let’s build the culture we want to build, then plug a new team member into that culture. This means we do the heavy lifting up front.
Before we add a new person to the team, we need to take an honest look at our culture. Do we have a culture where teamwork is valued and people can thrive? Do we have a culture of trust or a culture of suspicion? Do have a culture that fosters complete honesty and courtesy and teamwork? Do we have a culture that makes honest communication normal or does your culture inhibit conversations? Do we have a culture that fosters personal and organizational growth? Do we have a culture that gives new staff their best opportunity to succeed? Taking responsibility in advance of a new leader to set or re-set culture, gives new team members their best opportunity to succeed!
So what key issues need to be addressed in your culture before you hire the next staff person? Start addressing them now. You, the person you hire, and the organization you lead, will soon be grateful.
I ask five great leaders these questions:
1. What are the signs of a healthy team culture?
2. What are some practical ways to build a healthy culture? (what do YOU do?)
3. How would you move from an unhealthy culture to a healthy one? if you know you’re not where you need to be, how do you get there?