LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

Finding Employees Who Fit Your Culture

By Leadership Resources 06/11/2021
"Culture fit" circled in a job application

Wherever people consistently gather in groups (big or small), a culture is bound to arise. So, while the word “culture” has become a buzzword in the professional sphere, it’s merely a natural consequence of company life. Of course, company cultures can become stagnant, exclusionary, and downright toxic if not properly directed and cultivated at every level — leaders must set positive examples of what the culture should look like, employees should do their best to uphold these values, and new hires should be screened to ensure proper cultural fit. Indeed, finding candidates who fit your existing culture makes team and employee management easier and more productive. The question is: how should your business go about locating these candidates?

Let’s outline some key steps to finding employees that will not only fit your current culture but potentially enhance it as well.

How to Hire a Good Culture Fit

Establish Core Values

Finding the right employees for your company’s culture is an uphill battle (if not an impossibility) if said culture isn’t clearly defined from the outset. You must be able to identify your organization’s values and embed them in your operations. Some businesses might cultivate a  performance culture wherein productivity reigns supreme on the list of priorities; others might prioritize collaboration; some companies gather around a singular purpose (i.e., sustainability); the list goes on. A good test of your culture’s clarity and strength is to try and define it in a simple sentence — essentially a concise mission statement.

Put Your Culture Front and Center

Once your company culture is clearly defined, it’s imperative to get the message out there. In doing so, potential candidates with the right cultural fit will gravitate toward your organization. Your marketing materials (especially those for recruitment) should strongly focus on your business’ values. Make sure your website is outfitted with an “About” page and “Careers” section that both speak to your company’s values. Consider receiving employee testimonials and posting positive images on social media pages as well. Those seeking employment will appreciate getting a glimpse into what it might be like to work for your company directly from current employees.

Keep Tabs on Your Workplace Culture

Company cultures should be strong but not so rigid that they snap under pressure. Simply put, cultures evolve over time, and it’s crucial to remain open to changes that will ultimately benefit your organization and everyone in it. If something about your current culture is causing problems for some (or most) of your people, you must get to the bottom of it quickly. Distributing a monthly, quarterly, or annual company culture survey will give you key insights into what is and isn’t working, and which values require more attention or specific adjustment. Taking the time to constantly check and improve your company culture will allow you to keep up with the competition and deliver the most accurate representation of your organization to potential candidates.

Incorporate Your Values in the Interview Process

If you’re zeroing in on a candidate but still aren’t sure about their cultural fit, the best thing to do is simply ask them the right questions during their interview. It’s often best to start with some more casual questions regarding what they do outside of work, such as:

  • What are your hobbies?
  • What’s your average weekend like?
  • What do you value in yourself and others?
  • What’s your most negative personality trait?

From there, ask questions more directly related to company/employee culture, like:

  • Do you enjoy working with others?
  • In what type of setting do you accomplish your best work?
  • Do you see yourself working here for a long time?
  • Can you give an example of a moment in which you demonstrated one of the company’s values?
  • What are your thoughts about the company’s stated values and why?

Questions such as these benefit both you and the candidate as you inch closer to the hiring decision — they will gain an even deeper understanding of what it means to work for your company, and you will better understand how well they might fit into your culture.

Capturing the Right Candidates for Your Culture

Your company’s values and culture serve as the foundation for everything you do and your overall success. When seeking the most qualified candidates for your company, remember to keep culture in the equation — skills and knowledge matter greatly, but cultural fit is the glue that keeps your organization together.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How to Show Your Progress and Not Just Talk About It

By Leadership Resources 02/19/2021
Person presenting charts of progress

Every great leap begins with an idea. Indeed, brainstorming sessions, after-hours conversations, and spirited debates are highly valuable to any enterprise. These discussions help shape and clarify a company’s vision as leaders seek opportunities for improvement and growth. However, there comes a point when words must translate into actions. Too much talk can actually get in the way of proper execution. Real progress can only be made by testing out your various ideas and going over what’s working and what’s not. 

How to Humbly Display Your Progress

Set Smaller Goals

While it’s important to always keep an eye on the bigger picture, the only way to get there is through incremental steps. Setting smaller goals is one of the key features of any effective performance management system. Unlike long-term, sweeping goals, smaller goals are easier to set (or reset), accomplish, and track along the way. For instance, you might have the larger goal of increasing your annual profits this year. In order to achieve this goal, however, it’s important to zoom in on actionable goals that your team can tackle each day, week, month, and so on. One of these short-term goals might be challenging your sales team to increase their client base by a specific number between now and the end of the quarter. While it might not be easy to accomplish this goal, setting a clear benchmark like this makes it easy to track your business’ progress with hard numbers.

Build More Buy-In

No matter the size of your business, progress is only possible if your people are working toward the same goals. In order to keep everyone on the same page and perpetuate a high-performance culture, you must do your best to create buy-in. Maintaining broad buy-in requires constant communication and calibration — there may be times when an individual (or more) strongly opposes the direction you or your leadership team wishes to go. When this occurs, you must determine whether an executive (“command”) decision must be made, whether additional input is needed (“consult”), or if consensus is imperative for progress (“consensus”).

Accentuate Accountability

Accountability is paramount for proper performance management — without it, you’ll struggle to identify the trail of mistakes and miscommunication that led to a serious problem or roadblock. Moreover, prioritizing accountability in all leaders, managers, and employees will help keep everyone working towards their specialized and collective goals. For instance, leaders should regularly check in with their team(s) for concrete updates on their progress. If little to no progress is being made, the reasons for this lack of progress must be brought to light so necessary adjustments can be made, whether this means altering goals, shifting roles, or letting go of someone. A high-accountability culture can be difficult to establish and maintain, but doing so will allow you to make real progress beyond mere words.

Invest in Business Coaching

Speaking of accountability, there is perhaps no better way to keep leaders and teams accountable than by hiring a coach to provide you with an experienced, objective point of view. The best coaches can easily identify potential areas of growth for leaders, set and track new goals, keep everyone focused on unified, and point out hurdles that are preventing you from progressing. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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