When things aren’t going the way we want them to, the knee-jerk reaction is to immediately blame our people. After all, if our processes and systems have worked in the past, then it must be the people using the processes and systems who are failing, right?

Not necessarily. It could be your company culture.

In order to achieve big company goals, there must be a defined set of principles that guides every person, process, and premise behind every decision, action, and re-action within your organization.

In other words, you need to know your “why.” But not only do you need to know it, you need to actively share it with your new hires.

What made your founders jump out of bed each morning excited to make this thing work? Talk about that vision and show your new employees what it means to be a part of it. Embrace your company’s core beliefs and give examples of how you demonstrate those values to your employees, customers, and community.    

How do you build culture during onboarding? Integrate, integrate, integrate.

No need to put together a 50-slide PowerPoint explaining your company culture in excruciating detail. Rather, the key is to infuse the organizational philosophy and beliefs into your various training schedules and activities.

Effectively onboarding for cultural fit requires thinking about how the values that drive your organization have shaped the following:

Strategy – What direction is the company headed in and why? What are the reasons behind how you structure your processes? How do those processes reflect the values of the organization, and how do those values affect and influence the team? Reinforce these ideas as you lead your trainee throughout the onboarding process.

Structure – How are teams organized within the company? How do they interact with each other? What communication tools are used and how? What does collaboration look like? How do these processes align with your core values and vision? Paint the big picture – and a snapshot of your new hire’s role within it.

Systems – What do workflows look like? Which teams are responsible for various parts of the process? What happens if/when things fall through the cracks? Who is responsible for holding people accountable? Set expectations and emphasize how they tie back to shared goals and visions.

Skills – What skills are considered valuable and why? What opportunities exist for individual and career development? Who on the team would be appropriate mentors and teachers? Provide a peek into new learning opportunities and future career paths.

Your organizational culture consists of the values, norms, beliefs, and assumptions that shape behavior. In other words, all of the above and more. If you’ve built a great culture, get your new hires excited about it and you’ll be well on your way to cultivating long-term, high performing employees.

This is the sixth post in a series of blogs about how to effectively onboard new employees. For more information on this topic, read How to Effectively Onboard New Employees, 6 Ways to Accelerate Learning, Tips for Transition, Define Success, and Secure Early Wins. Subscribe to this blog to receive new HR-related posts each week.

Photo by Nui7711

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