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TD Magazine

Culture Conning

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Did you join a company thinking it had a positive workplace culture only to find the opposite is true? The employer may have pulled a bait and switch, or as employer brand consultancy Blu Ivy Group calls it, culture conning. Blu Ivy says that is "the practice by which companies market themselves as having inclusive, employee-centric workplace cultures to recruit employees, but fail to deliver on that promise."

In a survey of more than 1,000 American workers, Blu Ivy found that about one-third of respondents believe their employer is culture conning. And 22 percent said they have left a position or a company because of that.


"Establishing a well-built and managed employer brand ensures that companies aren't ‘culture conning' or falsely advertising a culture that doesn't exist," says Stacy Parker, managing director and cofounder of the Blu Ivy Group. "Committed brands need to truly and thoughtfully embed a strong employee promise into the fundamental culture and experience of the company."

Employees appear to have the upper hand during this Great Resignation, so if companies aren't living up to workers' expectations, leaders of culture-conning companies shouldn't be surprised when talent starts looking for new employers. The solution: Put true effort into fostering a positive, inclusive culture. As with any initiative, measure the results to ensure the company is making progress and real change.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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