I talk about corporate culture often. Very often, in fact. You can tell what people value by what they talk about most often, so it’s no surprise that I believe a solid culture is one of the key ways to differentiate your organization.
But there’s a problem with that. See, you have to know what it means when you talk about this “culture” thing. If a new hire comes in, how do you explain it to them? If someone is not fitting the culture and needs to move on, how do you explain the invisible requirements they are not satisfying?
Corporate culture, in short, can be defined as “how we do things around here.”
â€” Ben Eubanks (@beneubanks) February 1, 2014
It’s time to take a few moments to articulate your culture. Define, in concrete terms, what it really looks like. Whether it’s through legends, core values, or something else. I was recently hiring for an opening, and I wanted to put together my “service philosophy,” but it’s also a good peek at what the culture is like and what we expect from our people. Here are a few of those key pieces:
- Find ways to say “yes” as often as possible
- No job is too small or insignificant
- The better we treat our staff, the better they treat our customers
- Talk about the “why” of what you do as often as the “what”
- Everyone should know what winning looks like
Those are just a few of the concepts, but it gives you an idea of what I mean. If more people took the time to explain these sorts of things, there would be fewer poor hires and thus fewer unhappy/disengaged staff.
Have you ever taken the time to articulate your culture in real terms? What sort of information did you share? What would your bullet points look like?
Ben, we spoke last year about culture and you researched and sent me some resources. We now have a letter about our culture and it is posted on our careers page, as well as we did a Culture of Cenikor video with multiple different employees giving their thoughts about our culture, it’s posted on our website, http://www.cenikor.org. We are VERY committed to communicating our culture and expectations up front to our potential employees, during orientation, and then we also implemented a “culture survey” that we do every twice a year on ALL our managers, all the way up to the CEO. How they are rated by their peers, direct reports and supervisor on 5 core components of our culture impacts 20% of their annual bonus. As we continue to grow and acquire new programs, weaving our culture into new locations will be even more critical. Just some of the things we’ve done since our initial conversation, thought you would like to know! Thanks again for your help, KW
Ben-Are there any aspects of your culture that candidates may perceive as negative? If so, how do you communicate them?