Why Workplace Culture Matters

Workplace culture is a phrase that’s hard to miss these days. There’s a lot of ambiguity as to what it is, and why it really matters to businesses. In this blog, we answer some of these questions relating to workplace culture, its importance and how a business leader can hire for cultural fit.

Why does workplace culture matter?

Workplace culture is created by the shared values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours of employees and leaders alike. This, in turn, results in the creation of unspoken practices, unsaid team behaviours and many other tangible and intangible outcomes, and this impacts the overall success of any business.

While the skills, experience and qualifications of staff matter, finding team members that align with your business’s values and culture is also crucial.

Why are values a key part of workplace culture?

Your business’s values are the building blocks on which the workplace culture is based on. Values are different from your vision and mission statement. They reflect how you want people to behave, whereas the vision and mission reveal the goals of a business.

Values are important for candidates when they apply for jobs, and the newer generations are increasingly choosing employers based on their values. It is important for employers to ensure they hire candidates whose values align with the business values.

Will this result in group thinking?

You could read this and think we are saying find employees who are exactly like you, or your current team. That is not what we are suggesting.

You can find employees who operate differently, but their values align to a similar set of guiding principles. These employees may have new ways of doing things, and can complement your existing talent skill set. 

What will happen if we do not hire for culture-fit?

When you hire someone who doesn’t fit with the cultural identity of your business, they end up feeling like a square peg in a round hole.

An uneasy cultural fit is a pleasant sight for no one – especially for the new team member. They will feel uncertain, unpredictable and disconnected at work, ultimately impacting their performance.

Where to start?

Ask these two questions when hiring for cultural fit:

Can you describe the work environment in which you’re most productive and happy?

This will allow you to understand the type of workplace the candidate feels comfortable in, and will be productive in. Is it a team-based, casual office structure, or a mix of remote and office working? How does their answer match your business?

Can you describe your ideal manager?

All candidates will offer a variety of responses, ranging from higher feedback to less accountability, more independence etc. This will help you determine whether they are a good fit in the team, and how you can support them if needed.

An organisation’s culture comes down to the shared values its people hold. Build a positive workplace culture and see how quickly you move towards attracting great candidates, higher employee engagement and greater productivity.

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