Recognizing and cultivating your company culture can make a huge impact on your recruiting efforts and ultimately your organization’s success. By fostering an environment that employees love and job seekers want, you’ll be able to recruit and retain the top performers your company needs to grow.
Company or organizational culture is probably a term you’ve heard before. Especially if you’re an avid reader of blogs that touch on recruiting or business management topics. Even so, you may still be asking yourself, “What exactly is it?”
Defining Company Culture
While it’s not a term that can be easily expressed or defined, company culture is the powerful force that drives your employees’ actions and influences their attitudes. Usually, it’s developed via your mission statement, shared values, preferred work style, common practices and shared experiences.
There are many roles for company culture. The first is its ability to create unity in the workplace by defining a clear vision for which employees can join forces to accomplish. It also works as an action-defining compass by eliminating any uncertainty when employees are faced with an event or unexpected issue. In a nutshell, a company culture is your organization’s perceived personality.
Every Company Has One
You may be thinking, “Our company doesn’t have a culture!” But, the reality is that’s simply not possible. Walk into any organization to observe and it won’t be long before you can establish its overall ethos. That’s because culture manifests itself -- without the influence of calculated action.
Which is also the reason why you may find it difficult to hone in on your own company culture. Because it can operate outside of our awareness and may not be as strong as some companies (like Google), it’s easy to bypass without regard. Rest assure, you can clearly define culture by observing your employees and their interactions with one other, leadership and clients.
Defining Your Culture
Recognizing the unique characteristics that define your company’s persona is the first step to cultivating a company culture. Ask yourself the following questions to better understand how your organization operates as a whole.
1. What’s your vision or overall mission?
Define what employees strive toward each and every day and how that vision aligns with their actions and goals.
2. What’s the purpose?
Every company needs a greater good in order to motivate passionate employees. Identify what that purpose is for your company and your employees.
3. What shared values guide your actions?
Values help create a guideline for employees to follow when faced with certain situations. Observe how your company operates and what shared values drive those actions.
4. How does your company differentiate itself?
This is the “wow” factor that sets your organization apart from competition. There is no classification for this category. It could be anything from a fast paced environment to a unique sales process. Identify a unique reason why candidates would choose you as an employer and that’s your distinguishing element.
The Cultural Advantage
What’s the point in all of this? Well, there are two main advantages. The first is that recognizing your company culture makes hiring the right candidates much easier. Because you understand the current climate of your organization, you can better identify ideal candidates who would make the best cultural fit. Remember, it’s the people you hire today who will drive the future of your organization and its culture. Second, you can utilize your defined company culture as a recruiting tool. Showcase your culture as a benefit for prospective candidates to sell them on why your company should be their employer of choice.
If you already have a defined company culture, continue to use it as a recruiting advantage. Otherwise, it’s time to get observing! If you understand how to define your organizational culture today, you can start hiring the right people to help move your organization and culture forward.