When you look back even just a couple of decades, you see a very different approach to the workplace. The last 20 years have probably seen one of the biggest changes in modern history, though, with the rise of the understanding of business culture.
Workplaces are changing
When you think about it, most businesses, right up until the mid-90s, were still very much a place of office cubicles, work floor divisions and ‘them and us’ workplace cultures. Probably as a result of globalisation, this started to change, and people began to recognise that the new .com businesses and the entrepreneurial managers were working differently. They were breaking down the traditional workplace and rebuilding it with an intent to actively change the culture to one where the workforce saw themselves as a team, not employees. The results were very clear. A workforce that is embedded in the culture of a business is far more likely to be:
- Invested in the business goals
- Able to work on their own initiative
- Considerably more productive
- Passive about moving to a new position
This is far from an exhaustive list, and I doubt if any management team would say ‘no thank you’ to a workforce that showed those qualities.
Culture is a recruitment tool
A result of the growth of company culture was an increase in its importance as a recruitment tool. This is particularly true in the current employment market where spot areas of skills shortages and low levels of unemployment place an additional premium on being able to source the right team.
A candidate will only invest in your culture and consider joining your business if they can see it matches their individual career goals and personal desires to a significant level. If you are solely ‘CV scraping’ for skills or experience when hiring, you are running the risk of employing someone who will be at odds with the culture, and that will almost certainly lead to the cost of a bad hire. It is important, therefore, to display your company culture during the hiring process. These are a few suggestions on how this can be achieved:
- Tour and showcase – Let the candidates see your business in action by taking them around during the interview process. A ‘warts and all’ view of your business is actually desirable here because we want to eliminate surprises later.
- Meet and greets – Leave the candidate with some current team members and avoid the temptation to hand pick the enthusiastic promoters in favour of a good cross-section. You may even want to consider adding at least one employee to the interview group.
- Build culture into the interview – Talk to the candidate about your ethos and your internal culture.
- Manage your digital presence – One of the first things a candidate will do is look to your social media as a guide to how you operate. Promote your business as well as your services digitally.
If you want to attract a great team, the candidates need to be able to look at your culture and say, “I want to be there”, so the old saying about ‘there is no ‘I’ in team’ has a flaw. A successful workforce is made up of individuals working under a business culture they invest in. It would appear there are multiple ‘I’s in ‘team’ after all.