Who would you choose?
A strong organisational culture is said to exist when staff identify strongly with their organisation. Where a strong culture exists, people respond to situations and conduct business in a consistent and coherent manner owing to their alignment to the organisation’s values. It has been consistently found that a strong culture is a predictor of organisational success, with corporate culture having been found to be a strong predictor of financial performance.
Organisations with a strong culture typically run smoothly and efficiently as they have developed the capability to respond to situations decisively and in a co-ordinated manner. This capability arises from the mutual understanding, familiarity and integrated behaviour that develops when those in an organisation are highly attuned to a common purpose and guiding norms. A shared history, mutual trust and familiarity among members of an organisation are critical for seamless teamwork to occur and it’s organisational values that create this culture.
To instil the organisational values and ensure they continue to be lived, existing employees including leaders, need to exhibit them on a daily basis to create the desired culture. The values are guiding principles to make decisions – business decisions and those effecting the management of people from how do I select, who and how do I develop and performance manage and reward and so on.
When recruiting new employees, the existing cultural fit and alignment to organisational needs to be considered for a successful match between the individual and the organisation. Have a think for a moment about who you would select if you select purely based on skills. Now think about how different that might be if you selected on skills and cultural fit.
As I said before, organisational values are guiding principles for decisions including the recruitment phase. How will I attract them? What are we looking for? How will we select them? Whilst skills are extremely important to perform the role, however, their behaviour – how they do it, how they interact with colleagues, clients and represent the business are just as important.
Selecting a candidate based on cultural fit not only ensures the culture continues to be lived within the organisation. Studies have also shown that a cultural fit improves individual’s self-esteem, confidence and performance. A cultural fit creates greater satisfaction, commitment, productivity, retention and identity with the organisation. Studies go on to show there is also relationship also with mental and physical health.
So organisations who hire based on cultural fit are more likely to have higher retention. Organisations therefore save money in hiring and replacing those who leave as result of a poor fit (where there is no cultural fit a strong culture will naturally force those out) and get the most out of their people.
Proper questioning at interviews and psychometric testing will help in determining a cultural fit, or not.
Guest Blog from Leisa Messer Managing Director, HR Business Direction