Entrepreneur.com defines company culture as the “blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.” This shared value system and the organization’s atmosphere directly impact important aspects like employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity.
In fact, 67 percent of employees believe that good company culture precedes strategy or operations when applying for a job. As employers, ensuring every individual you hire fits the company culture is crucial.
Defining Company CultureFirst, it is important to define what your company culture is. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are universal best practices that help create a positive company culture.
Start by asking questions like:
- What are your company’s values?
- In what ways does the company recognize employee achievements?
- What is the work-life balance like?
- What’s the workplace environment?
- What kind of personality thrives in your organization?
Once you’ve established a baseline, it’s a good idea to ask your employees what they would change and what procedures they would implement. Then, after redefining the corporate values and policies, implement any necessary changes and set clear goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) to ensure your ideal company culture is established and maintained.
Finding the Right Candidates for Your CultureOnce you’ve solidified your company culture, convey it in your hiring materials. This ensures that all potential candidates know what they can expect from your organization. In addition, your job listings must reflect your company culture, so ensure your branding and ads reflect the culture you desire.
A good way to attract the right candidates is to mention the qualitative characteristics you are seeking. For example, if your company has a more formal company culture, descriptors such as self-driven, ambitious, and multitasker are a good way to show who would thrive in such an environment.
Conversely, if your company culture is more laid-back, words like fun-loving, flexible, and open-minded portray your company’s unique spirit. Additionally, your job listings should link to your company culture page on your website, which should authentically represent your organization’s character.
Interviewing for Culture Fit: Ask the Right QuestionsWhen interviewing for cultural fit, it is important to get a sense of what the applicant is all about. Often, there may be a candidate who ticks all the boxes in terms of qualifications but their personality may not really suit the company culture.
This is why it is important to ask the following questions:
- How would you describe yourself?
- What motivates you to do your best work?
- What type of work environment do you prefer?
- How do you evaluate success?
- How would you describe your work style?
- How would you describe your communication style?
- How do you handle conflict or difficult situations in the workplace?
- What do you know about our company culture, and how would you fit in?
- Where do you see yourself professionally in X years?
Keep an eye on the candidate’s body language while answering your questions. Are they squirming and feeling uncomfortable, or do they look genuinely interested in your company culture? Does their general verbal and communication style fit the rest of the team? These are considerations during and after each interview.
After the InterviewCongratulations on choosing your candidate! The next step you should take is to integrate the new employee into the company culture as quickly as possible.
Introducing them to the other employees, assigning a mentor, involving them in team-building activities, and checking in on them makes a world of difference in ensuring the new employee is happy and comfortable in their new environment.
A clear onboarding process is also crucial. No one wants to be at the other end of a messy handover; this is not a good look for your company or corporate culture. Adopting a method such as the Kaizen approach to workflow automation is one way to help the new employee settle in and hit the ground running.
Instead of just training in job responsibilities, ensure onboarding includes training in company culture and values through company-wide orientation sessions.
Finally, it is important to realize that only some new employees will be the right fit, no matter how hard you try. However, by defining your company culture, you have a greater chance of attracting the right people to your team and creating a positive work environment that your employees will look forward to every morning.