One of the greatest boxers of all times, Mike Tyson, once said that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. This witty remark is a perfect example of the fact that just because something works on paper, this doesn’t have to be the case in the real world. No one knows this better than an entrepreneur or an HR manager looking for new hires. There are some people with great credentials, industry-specific experience, knowledge and dedication but once you bring them in, they just don’t seem to work out in your employ. Why? Well, there are many potential reasons but one of the most likely ones is that they’re just not a great cultural fit. Here’s why this is such an important issue.
Before we need to discuss the importance of workplace culture, we should probably take into consideration what is workplace culture, to begin with. In the context of corporate culture, it’s important that your staff members share priorities, know how to communicate with one another effectively and appropriately and that they have similar treatment of customers. There is no such thing as an ideal level of formality/informality (since this is subjective) but it’s quite important that all your staff feels comfortable with it. Finally, at ankinlaw.com we believe honesty and integrity are vital components of efficient workplace culture.
Making a new hire can be incredibly expensive. First, you need to find someone who fits the profile, which means that you hire someone to review all the resumes and set up interviews. Then, you need to interview a lot of people before encountering one or two people who you find to be right for the job. This is quite expensive, seeing as how time (yours or that of your recruiter) is money. Once they’re hired, they need to undergo training and adaptation stages. This means that they will work at a reduced capacity for days, weeks and even months. They might not even bring in any revenue during this time. So, what happens if they (or you) discover that they’re not a great cultural fit and they just leave making you have to do all of this over and over again.
Your current team might be in perfect harmony as it is and bringing a new entity might disrupt this for good. Think about your personal life. Do you have a friend that you just love to spend time with but when you bring them to mingle with yourfriend group things just don’t seem to work out? The same thing could happen in your company/team, as well. The worst thing is that this new employee might not be the only one suffering from this lack of chemistry. They might disrupt the rest of the team, which would lead to a significant productivity drop. They might sow the seeds of discontent which might keep sprouting long after they’re no longer in your employ.
The main reason why finding “the perfect” employee is not a practice that all entrepreneurs apply is the fact that they find it too difficult. Someone with no experience in the selection and hiring process may have a hard time balancing between subjective and objective. For instance, if one employee is clearly superior on paper and the other candidate is a perfect cultural fit, when is it worth hiring the latter candidate? The thing that’s worth keeping in mind here is that you can always opt for professional HR consulting. In other words, this is not an issue that you have to tackle on your own.
Previously, we’ve discussed a hazard of having to replace your team members. Now, the misconception that a lot of people have is the idea that people who aren’t great cultural fit tend to be chased away from the company or that they tend to have low productivity. Neither of the two is the rule. A person who isn’t a great cultural fit might feel like they don’t belong in your company and might leave on their own accord. What if this person is a valuable member of the team or a skilled employee that you won’t have an easy time replacing? This is especially true when you take into consideration how long it took for them to come up to speed with the rest of your company.
A term corporate culture may sound too broad and abstract for you to pinpoint exactly what you’re looking for. While this is a complex matter, if we were to simplify and stress out four major factors it would be – mission, vision, passion and value. Finding a person in which these four values align with those of your company is one of the safest ways to ensure that the culture fit is the right one.
When it comes to running a business, there’s no such thing as chance. Just because you don’t understand why some people work out for you and others don’t, this doesn’t mean that there’s some inexplicable, mystical force in play. There’s no need for the use of terms like X-factor or corporate chemistry since cultural fit gives you more than adequate explanation of this phenomenon.