I was reading the Evening Standard on my way back home from the office last night when I came across an interesting article that caught my eye. It was headlined:
Although I do enjoy Arrested Development - I'm more partial to fist bumping...
For those who may have missed the article (I have posted a link above if you would like to read it) the premise was that cultural fit is as important as technical expertise and past experience. I've seen it first-hand where a candidate is going through a recruitment process, passes the technical interview but then misses out because team leaders (brought in to "check for cultural and team fit") feel the candidate is "missing that special something".
Organisations spend an inordinate amount of money ensuring that they select only the best from an ever increasing talent pool. Selecting someone with the right credentials and experience is definitely important, but bringing someone in who does not culturally fit with the rest of the team or the organisation can have detrimental effects on morale, productivity and cohesion.
If we consider someone who is a good cultural fit for an organisation, what kind of effect will this have? Greater job satisfaction as they will identify more with the company, their team and their leaders; Because of this they are more likely to stay with the organisation for a longer period of time and be more committed to the overall goals; When the members of the team cohere with each other, there will be greater understanding between them; Values will be aligned and they will understand each team members strengths and weaknesses; Conflict may be less of an issue if they understand each other. Even if someone is missing certain technical aspects or experience, learning and development will be an easy endeavour, as they will be driven to attend.
There's a quote in the article from Kathryn Parsons, founder of a company called Decoded, which reads:
"A small team of talented people who share the same mission, vision, culture and values can achieve more than a team of thousands." - Do you agree?
She goes on to say:
"If you find the right cultural fit, suddenly work feels like play, your passions, skills and talents are recognised, appreciated, unleashed, developed and challenged"
For those who think "fit" is just a buzzword and something that is only for tech companies, start-ups and Millennial's, below you will find a great White Paper from Hogan which explores the value of values. For instance, despite 70% of HR executives attributing poor hiring decisions to poor fit, only 36% actually make values based hiring decisions.
And for those that attribute the term "culture" only to tech companies and start-ups, every organisation has a culture:
FedEx - Customer obsession, innovation, relentless achievement, team spirit and trust, zeal
The British Army - Selfless commitment, courage, discipline, integrity, loyalty, respect
Harley Davidson - Tell the truth, be fair, keep your promises, respect the individual, encourage intellectual curiosity
Finding an organisation that shares the same values as you can be a tricky task. It's essential that first you understand yourself. Your motivations, values and preferences shape the way you think about work, the kind of environment you create and your leadership style. It also shapes your beliefs, aversions and lifestyle.
The MVPI assessment from Hogan is a measure of all of the above. It determines an individual's core drivers that determine what kind of work and work environment a person will find most fulfilling, how they fit into an organisation and what gets them out of bed every morning. Consisting of 10 scales, the MVPI is a great tool for use with younger managers, graduates or those looking for some sort of career transition.
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