We’re proud of the organizational culture we’ve developed over the years. It’s essential to our success, making us a leader in our industry. Our workforce is aging, and we must replace our associates (employees) with the same emphasis on quality, teamwork, and customer urgency. I appreciate your suggestions to help us maintain this “culture fit.”
Culture Fit Seeker
(A National Supplier)
Dear Culture Fit Seeker,
In today’s fast-changing world, organizations like yours must stay on their toes to maintain the strong organizational culture that has made them successful. What is meant by organizational culture? One of the best definitions I’ve run across is the following: organizational culture is the rules, values, beliefs, and philosophy that dictate team members’ behavior in a company. The culture consists of an established framework that guides workplace behavior. Examples include integrity, teamwork, transparency, and accountability.
As families may differ in their rules, values, and beliefs, so do organizations. So, different organizational cultures should be expected across industries and companies. This is why proper onboarding of new employees is so important. If we are to be team players, we need to know what is expected of us and be willing to adjust accordingly. New and younger workers offer an opportunity for diversity in thought and may also challenge the status quo. This is typically a positive situation, but you don’t want to lose what makes your organization successful. The challenge is to find associates/employees who are wise enough to recognize better ways to do the job but are flexible enough to support the key values and goals of your organization.
The success of any organization is heavily dependent on everyone’s contribution to its operations. Therefore, when new employees join, it’s crucial to ensure that they not only possess the necessary skills and qualifications but also seamlessly integrate into the organizational culture. Organizational culture forms the foundation of how things get done, how decisions are made, and how employees interact with each other and their environment. A strong cultural fit can increase employee satisfaction, teamwork, and productivity.
So, how do you ensure new employees fit with your organizational culture? You begin at the beginning! Prioritize cultural alignment in the hiring process. Ensuring a good cultural fit begins even before the employee steps into the organization. During the hiring process, it’s essential to evaluate not just the technical skills and qualifications of the candidates but also their values, attitudes, and behaviors. Organizations should clearly define their culture and communicate it to potential candidates, allowing them to self-assess their fit. Behavioral interview questions and situational assessments can provide insights into how candidates might react in various scenarios aligned with the company’s culture.
The Work Styles Predictor®, WSP®, provides an excellent example of a situational assessment. It is often referred to as a measure of “work attitude.” The WSP is typically used early in the hiring process to root out those unlikely to appreciate and fit in with an organization’s work culture. The types of work attitude measured include an “openness to being a team player,” an “emphasis on quality work,” the “willingness to adapt to new ways of doing things,” a “sense of urgency in satisfying customers,” etc. The WSP is customized to each organization’s culture and job positions. To satisfy legal guidelines, each WSP development follows professional standards, resulting in a science-driven validation study. This ensures that the customized WSP correctly identifies candidates who will be a good culture fit with your organization.
Once you’ve found the right employees for your organization, you need to follow through with your commitment to maintain and grow your organizational culture. You need a structured onboarding process. The onboarding process is pivotal in helping new employees acclimate to the organizational culture. It’s not just about filling out paperwork; it’s about introducing them to the company’s values, mission, and vision. Assigning a mentor or buddy can provide newcomers with someone they can turn to for guidance and clarification on cultural aspects. A structured onboarding process ensures that cultural integration isn’t left to chance but is actively facilitated.
You must lead by example. Leaders and managers play a crucial role in exemplifying the desired cultural behaviors. When leaders consistently demonstrate the values and behaviors expected within the organization, it sets a powerful example for new employees. Regular interactions with leaders who exhibit the desired culture can positively influence newcomers and reinforce the importance of cultural alignment.
Ensuring that new employees fit well with the organizational culture requires a multifaceted approach that begins during the hiring process and continues throughout an employee’s journey within the organization. Identifying and communicating your organizational culture for proper candidate assessment, structured onboarding, and leadership by example are all critical components of this process. By prioritizing cultural alignment, organizations can create an environment where employees not only thrive but also contribute to the growth and success of the company.
Good luck with your future hiring!
David E. Smith, Ph.D.
Founder and CEO
If you have a question regarding the hiring process, employment testing, interviewing, or other HR -related areas you would like Dr. Smith to address, please send your inquiry to: email@example.com