Teaching Culture: The Onboarding Connection

Most of us have stories of being a new hire or new to the team and having to figure out what the norms are, what the lingo means, and in general, what the culture is really all about. It’s often a process of discovery, and sometimes it can be an eye-opening one at that.

While it’s not unusual for the organizational culture to be revealed in this gradual, informal way, a recent blog post from Talent Management Magazine makes the case for taking the time upfront to teach new hires about the culture.

Citing the book, Successful Onboarding: A Strategy to Unlock Hidden Value Within Your Organization, by Mark A. Stein and Lilith Christiansen, the post explains that teaching culture during onboarding reduces the learning curve and helps people acclimate faster.

We have heard many interesting examples of how companies are using the Whole Brain® framework to develop and ground their culture, and how they’re also using it to create and communicate the vision and values to new and long-time employees alike.

It also gives people a common language to talk about who they are and how they approach work. As the CEO of one IT firm told us, “It’s quite amazing how a lot of people in the organization have got their HBDI® Profile mount­ed on their desk. And people are saying ‘I’m yellow, I like to work in a yellow environment.’”

But do new hires know what “I’m yellow” means?

When they come on board, between the hectic pace of ramping up and previously set course schedules, the timing may not be right for new hires to attend a class in Whole Brain® Thinking. That’s one of the reasons Stein and Christiansen point to interactive technology as a good option for communicating culture quickly and consistently.

With Whole Brain® concepts, many companies use the Thinking Accelerator™ featuring HBDIinteractive™ simulation to quickly bring people up to speed on the language of Whole Brain® Thinking and their own preferred styles of thinking.

What are some of the methods and tools you’re using to teach culture to new employees? Have you used the Whole Brain® Model to organize your onboarding process? We’d love to hear your experiences with onboarding and corporate culture. Share them below in the comments!

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