I know most of us are sick of hearing about company culture and cultural fit, but I hope you’ll hear us out. This is something we all need to understand in order to make the right hires and to find jobs that are the right fit. In trying to navigate this tricky subject, we have all found ourselves asking some of these questions:
What is company culture?
Does anyone really know what cultural fit is?
What culture do I fit in best?
How would I describe the culture of my own company?
Would [Insert name of colleague] describe it in the same way?
And on and on… This is an ongoing topic of conversation and managers and business owners alike have difficulty defining it. Yet, all business owners have seen the ill effects of hiring someone who was not a fit for your culture. As an employee, you have either seen these effects or you have experienced it yourself by working for a company that was a bad cultural fit. Or worse, you may still be at that company.
Culture IS a reflection of the organizational leadership. We love this definition because companies often try to use fancy catch phrases and fun ways of trying to explain who they are as a company. While, we don’t believe that is bad, you need to make sure your organization reflects what you want it to be in more than just words and catch phrases. It needs to be DEMONSTRATED by all leadership on a daily basis. The quote, “The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate” (Gruenter and Whitaker) sums up the tough spot companies so often find themselves. And, as usual, Dilbert perfectly illustrates workplace challenges such as this.
These cartoons always elicit a chuckle but they hit so close to home, it’s scary. It only takes one person to negatively influence your company culture and the effects can ripple through the organization.
Ask employees to describe your company culture. Is the description consistent from one team to the next? Go ahead and ask a few people. This is a good exercise to consider if you want to attract top talent and in turn want them to be successful in your organization.