Why do so many culture initiatives fail? For Professor Chris Roebuck, we are not spending enough time on diversity of thought and collaboration. As I travel around the world working with organisations and speaking to groups of leaders, the word ‘culture’ comes up more and more. Not in relation to assessing the perspectives or approaches of different groups across the organisation in order to enhance collaboration and execution, but more as a reason why things didn’t succeed.

Career advancement opportunities rank as the top reason why employees join or leave organisations, according to new research from Towers Watson, a leading global professional services company. The 2014 Talent Management and Rewards and Global Workforce Studies have shown that companies continue to face challenges attracting and retaining talent, with 60% of employers experiencing difficulties with retaining highly qualified people.

Ideally, you would take cultural factors into consideration in the hiring process by exploring cultural norms and conditions when assessing the prospective candidate. While few companies do this well, where it is done well it exponentially increases the success rate of the new hire (Sharkey & Eccher, 2010). In the absence of doing this step during the hiring process, cultural understanding should be step one of the on-boarding and integration process.