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Can New Employees Change a Company’s Culture? If So, How?

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Can new employees change a company’s culture? If so, how?

Spoken by Strebel, the psychological dimension of personal compacts, including trust and dependence, can create an environment where employees feel that change is possible and available (1996). New employees don’t always walk into a company ready and confident to invoke change, but I do think that a confident employee who can take action is able to affect, if not change, a company’s culture. Often, the employee needs to know that they can trust and rely on other employees and managers to be on their side.

In my previous job, I felt that the culture was cold and uninviting. People used excuses to be unfriendly, and I was growing unhappy with the environment. As a naturally gregarious person, I felt that my attitude opened up a lot of the employees and helped nourish a more social culture, where people didn’t feel guilty or anxious to not be doing work. This was, however, a lower level change, and while the culture was affected, I can’t guarantee it was changed. Culture involves every level of staff, from top to bottom, so I think that new employees can change a culture, but they have to commit to the culture and the company first. They need the managers to trust and depend on them, as well.

Are there conditions under which change is not possible? If so, what would such conditions be?

Change is not possible when there is a lack of organization and follow through. Consider what Strebel wrote about how even motivated managers who activate change, can see it come to a halt through lack of communication, communication breakdown and missing calendar deadlines (1996). When an organization cannot commit to changes, employees will become apathetic to the attempts of their managers. I have experienced this in a past job when nobody respected meeting times or calendar deadlines. It became a laughable joke, because the head managers were the ones making and breaking the schedule.

Another way change becomes less possible is if there is a lack of trust or respect between employees and their managers. Employees become more likely to retaliate against change, because they no longer care about the company’s goals. In the case of my previous job, where nobody stuck to



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