A company's culture can be seen as the values and beliefs of the company's founders through to those on the production line or working in customer service. It's a bit like an ecosystem involving a complex network of organisms and components, including us (humans) and the technology, systems, premises, tools etc., which we need to work.
Like variations in individuals' personalities, business culture varies from company to company. It is why some people fit into one set of business values and a particular working environment, but not in others. The term cultural fit is essentially all about matching people with business culture.
It seems simple, but here is where many businesses get it wrong. Cultural-fit hiring doesn't mean recruiting identical people, nor does it encourage discrimination. Excellent company culture will reflect a diverse workforce.
"As McKinsey & Company reported in Diversity Matters, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21% more likely to outperform those in the bottom quartile. Those in the top quartile for racial diversity are 33% more likely to outperform. Contrastingly, companies in the lower 4th quartile on both gender and ethnic diversity are more likely to underperform their industry peers financially."
Great cultural fit is all based on the fact that an employee who feels connected to the business's values and clicks naturally with its nuances is more likely to thrive. When the values are aligned, decisions are made faster, departments become more creative, more wisdom is shared, and everyone benefits!
A great example of a company that has been successful in values-based hiring is Atlassian. Rather than focussing on behavioural type questions during interviews, they ask questions that shed insight into the candidate's values and how they may align with the company values. The company values are very well defined and do not appear on a dusty shelf in the back of a business plan. They are put to the test every day inside operations.
Mastrangle Brown, Chief People Officer at Gusto, agrees that investing in values alignment pays off. "Scaling your culture means not taking shortcuts," she says. "When every person goes through a values alignment interview, you know you're hiring the right team. Not just the first team you can get in the door."
The benefits to an organisation are more than just hiring the right team and preventing a toxic culture. These benefits include:
If members of a team share alignment in values, they can work towards a common goal with ease. A cohesive team will communicate more, hold each other accountable and have an enjoyable time interacting with each other.
Engagement with an organisation begins early into the interviewing process; in fact, engagement is created (or realised) before the interview itself by reviewing career pages or corporate literature. Companies with engaged employees have employees who believe in the organisation's values and be prepared to stand up for their employer.
Building an engaged workforce will have a positive impact on staff retention. As the world continues to wake up, people seek happiness and wellness as driving factors to success in life. By having a workforce that aligns with values, you will have a happier workforce and make it less likely to seek out other opportunities. It also helps to reduce absenteeism levels.
If you would like assistance in finding staff that share values similar to your business, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org