October 11th, 2017 | Debbie Lamb, Sterling Talent Solutions
The Corporate Culture Fit Factor
If you look at the companies whose workforces are happy, engaged and productive, you’ll find a common denominator: a great company culture. Exceptional corporate culture occurs when employers value team members and employees feel they play an important role in the company’s success. It starts with trust. Every employee within the organization has a job to do, working toward common goals that are typically based on business targets and profitability markers. Without trust, an employee and employer relationship can’t even function on a basic level, let alone grow. A successful company can’t be achieved alone, and it’s the recognition of that fact by all parties that create a positive, productive environment.
The Corporate Culture Fit Factor
Since great company culture is built on a foundation of trust between employer and employee, it’s important that companies hire the right people to help foster trust. This is where culture fit comes into play. An employee who is a good culture fit believes in the company’s mission, upholds its values, meshes well with team members and possesses a work ethic that’s aligned with the expectations of the company. Culture fit is so important that it can be a better predictor of job success than specific experience. You can teach skills, but you can’t teach culture fit. The Balance describes culture fit as, “The candidate whose values, beliefs, outlook and behavior are congruent with those existing within the current organization is likely to be a good cultural fit for the organization.”
Establishing Corporate Culture
Gallup’s 2016 State of the American Workplace survey found that highly engaged business units realize a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 17% increase in productivity. The Gallup report further explains, “organizations have more success with engagement and improve business performance when they treat employees as stakeholders of their future and the company’s future. They put the focus on concrete performance management activities, such as clarifying work expectations, getting people what they need to do their work, providing development and promoting positive coworker relationships.”
Company culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors shared by a group of people and it is made up of all the life experiences each employee, from executive to hourly employee, brings to the organization. At its core, organizational culture is about the people that make up the company. It comes from the employees, which is why it’s important to start by asking, speaking with, and most importantly, listening to your employees.
Many organizations rank cultural fit on par with (or even more important than) technical skills and have begun focusing greater attention on fit in the talent acquisition process. There are many ways that a company can communicate its company culture to job candidates both on and offline. Candidates can see and experience company culture in many ways starting with the corporate website and social media platforms through recruiting, hiring and the onboarding process.
Onboarding and Cultural Fit
A part of the onboarding process for new hires is learning about a company’s culture. Employees who go through an effective onboarding program become more productive quicker and put out more valuable work. Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 54% greater new hire productivity leading to better performance. In fact, 77% of new hires who hit their first performance milestone had formal onboarding training. Employees who go through a more focused and detailed welcoming experience are more likely to be enthusiastic about their organization and ultimately can become brand ambassadors. This will ultimately translate to bottom-line and tangible results in higher productivity.
Harvard Business Review recently stated, “Culture fit is the glue that holds an organization together. That’s why it’s a key trait to look for when recruiting.” The result of poor culture fit due to turnover can cost an organization between 16% and 20% of an employee’s annual salary. If there is little to no cultural fit and the new employee ultimately does not stay with the company, it could have a large impact on the bottom line of a business. In fact, a bad hire can result in possible uncomfortable and costly outcomes for a business including damaged employee morale, theft, embezzlement, negative publicity, lost productivity and possibly litigation.
Explaining Company Culture Enhances the Candidate Experience
Executives and HR professionals may have very different day-to-day roles, but the desire to build a productive, engaged workforce is one thing they do have in common. Both are constantly looking for ways to not only bring in the best but also foster growth and employee engagement among the current workforce. When a company provides a positive work environment, values employees and provides benefits that underscore that, they’re positioned to recruit the best and brightest. Best in class business leaders say their company culture is the biggest asset in recruiting and retaining employees at their company.
Employee engagement starts before the new hire’s first day. Companies with highly engaged workers have higher rates of customer satisfaction and fewer errors. Learn more about how Sterling can empower your HR department to provide a superior candidate experience with engaging hiring solutions from offer to onboard. You can learn more about onboarding best practices in the HR’s Guide to Onboarding: From Decision to Day One and Beyond by downloading a copy today.
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