Graham Birkenhead, January 31 2023

How About Them There Apples

Our client was experiencing significant turnover amongst the new hires they needed to expand their production. They told us, ‘No one wants to work anymore’. Digging deeper it became evident that a small number of senior employees had created an environment that worked well for them but made it difficult for any new-comers to fit in. And worse, it turns out that this handful were particularly stuck in their ways so any new employees, had they stayed, would have learned bad habits. The expression “one bad apple can spoil the barrel’ is as true as ever. 

Once this was discovered, they made the difficult decision to dismiss the recalcitrants and start to create a culture that is flexible, resilient and embraces change. 

Culture is all about having the right people working together in the right way.  Whether you want it or not, your business has a culture; hopefully, it is nurtured and guided to be what the business and its people need. People both contribute to and are influenced by the culture, and so a small number of people (which could be as few as one) can have a devastating effect on the performance of the company if they are pulling the culture in the wrong direction. Regularly monitoring your culture is a CEO responsibility. How is yours doing? Do you have the right one to achieve this year’s objectives? Is it a topic at your monthly management team meetings?

And our client? Steaming ahead with a stronger, more productive team with less turnover. 


Written by

Graham Birkenhead


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