Can new employees change a company’s culture? If so, how?
Yes a new employee can trigger change. New employee cannot implement change by himself but it is possible to introduce new idea. If the new employee joins higher management or joins as analyst still they will need to understand the existing culture. Identify the areas of improvement, present those ideas to management and brainstorm. If everyone agrees that the idea of change in company culture is required and possible to implement then, the change has to be initiated.
Since we are discussing specifically about new employee, we need to understand that the organization should have an existing culture of encouraging each employee including new employee to bring in fresh ideas, including any idea to change the organization culture. So there should be a proper communication channel to present ideas and during onboarding new employees should be trained regarding this culture, so that if someone has any idea he / she presents that idea to management or supervisor. And supervisor can help him / her take the idea forward.
Are there conditions under which change is not possible? If so, what would such conditions be?
Change might not be easy, but it should be possible. Change is the only constant, if any organization resist change it is bound to seize to exist. But, even if an organization that resist change may exist. Most probably an organization with a founder who introduced culture of no change. Founder’s traits are amplified among the employees, in that case the organization won’t accept any change (Hansen, 2012). Although in my opinion this type of organization will seize to exist.
how can leaders take steps to enrich and more effectively leverage their culture to affect organizational change?
The leaders of the organization should first have a culture to embrace change. Encourage ideas and culture of openness, so that everyone can brings ideas to table and any good idea could be adopted. This culture of openness will help employees to come up with ideas and embrace change. But implementing change is never easy and it has to be done with care.
As Simon Sinek has said “There are only two ways to influence human behavior: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it”. Leaders can share their vision and mission with employees in the organization. Letting each and every employee know “Why” the change is required is most critical, as it will tell them how the change will improve their lives. And if they do not understand why the change is required, then the change will stress them out and most probably demoralize them.
Next steps should be engaging the team. The higher the number of engagement, the easier it would be to implement the change. Employees would be resistant to change, management should involve with employees, understand them and engage with them to implement the change. Employees understand the reason for change would be willing participant in the change.
Final and most importantly the management should introduce the change gradually giving the employees enough space and time to learn and adopt to new environment.
Hansen, D. (2012, February). Two Reasons Why Companies Resist Change. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/drewhansen/2012/02/19/two-reasons-why-companies-resist-change/#270cb5ee536c
Markidan, L. (2015, March). How to Make Company Culture Changes That Stick. . Retrieved from https://www.groovehq.com/support/company-culture-change