Have you ever been in that unfortunate position where you are searching for a team member for your team and they match all the qualifications you want on paper, then they absolutely nail the interview, but once they are in the role for awhile they just don’t seem to fit with the team? This can be frustrating (and expensive) for any business owner and it can leave you asking, “is it me or is it them?” The answer to why some people don’t fit into your office culture can be one or the other, but most times it can be a mix of both. If you are trying to diagnose or improve your office culture, HJR Global has compiled six reasons why someone might not quite fit the bill.
1. Your Team Needs To Open Up
Invariably there can be some issues with a new person starting and gaining the trust of a team. As much as you love your team and admire their cohesion, there may be a hiccup period with a new person. This is the first thing you should examine about your office culture if you feel like a new addition isn’t fitting in. Perhaps they just aren’t feeling as welcome as they should, which makes it hard to want to come to work and stay motivated about joining a new group. This also isn’t indicative of a snooty or unwilling team. People naturally gravitate toward people they like and they are familiar with. This is called “homophily” and it’s fairly common, but when it becomes a clique, it becomes a problem. Make sure your team knows the benefit of this new addition and, much like you as a leader had to get your team to buy in, give them appropriate time to integrate. There should be clear indicators if there was just a little team buy-in hang up or if you need to examine this person further.
2. There Isn’t Enough Engagement
Another one of the diagnosable and easily fixed reasons why people might not initially match up with your office culture is because they aren’t being engaged. If someone new starts and you are having trouble delegating to them or you aren’t trusting them with tasks, they are going to feel undervalued and underused. Conversely, it’s also possible for them to feel overwhelmed and overworked when they first start out. This can be remedied simply, especially if you are a master of emotional intelligence. Communicate with them after the first day, week and month and give them the chance to be completely honest. How do they feel they are being engaged? Are they fitting in with the team or are there problems? It’s up to you to find out this information, as well as to figure out what to do with the info.
3. Your Work Ethos And Habits Don’t Match
One of the biggest problems when it comes to a proper fit is work style, ethos and habits. This is why it’s important for both parties to be open and honest about work style and work flow up front in the interview. If your office is more open and collaborative with a hybrid hierarchy/authority structure, then someone who has been used to working on their own might have trouble understanding how leadership works or what is expected of them. If your employee has been used to calling all the shots, part of the reason they might not fit well is because they really weren’t ready to relinquish control and let you lead. Sometimes these differences in habits and ethos can be adjusted, as long as everyone is willing, while other times, this can be a sign of an impasse.
4. They Have Different Goals
Personal goals and the goals of the team can and do exist in the same space. For the most part, both individual goals and the goals of the team have a symbiotic relationship, where accomplishing personal goals helps you accomplish the business goals and vice versa. However, sometimes those goals intersect and work against one another, which is a problem for both the team and the employee. No one should have to give up on what they want to accomplish, but if you can’t find a way to align these goals, then it’s not going to be a good fit.
5. They Don’t Share Your Core Values
Perhaps the least obvious and yet most detrimental to the success of a new team mate and you as a leader is a person that doesn’t share common values or isn’t inspired by a core goal. All of your business moves and decisions should be based on the foundation of what inspired you to start your business in the first place. This is what Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is focused on and that little foundational piece is called your why. It’s where you should start your daily planning and it should be in the back of your team’s mind all the time. If people are not in tune with this why, they will likely have a difficult time completely fitting into your office culture.
6. There Was A Gap In Communication
Communication is absolutely the key to determining issues and figuring out solutions. If you aren’t communicating with your new additions and your team, or they aren’t communicating with you, the problem is able to grow unchecked and unexamined. If you click away from this blog with one key piece of advice, it’s this: communicate. You cannot figure out solutions to office culture problems without exercising emotional intelligence and communicating. After that, you can formulate what to do next.
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