It’s important for business leaders not to approach company culture as just another facet of their organization. A business’s company culture is the set of beliefs and values that drive employee behaviors and thus drive business productivity and results. Getting company culture alignment right involves ensuring each individual employee shares the same beliefs and values and that those beliefs and values reflect those held by the business.
How Individual Values Mesh with Company Culture
Certain tech organizations like Google have a strong and strategic focus on innovation and cooperation. These businesses value employees who think creatively and share new ideas, concepts, and ways of approaching a problem. Google thus ensures they boast a company culture aligned with such innovation and cooperation with strategies like recruiting like-minded individuals and rewarding employees who express those values.
Of course, not every business benefits from such a culture. For example, an automotive parts manufacturer may prioritize a culture based on efficiency. For such a group, having clearly defined job roles and recruiting people who are adept at focusing and specializing on specific tasks is their priority. Getting their company culture alignment right before recruiting allows the company to zero in on those applicants who hold their values.
Culture alignment is critical for recruiting because it allows a company and candidate to evaluate if a person’s values and the company’s values align. Individuals are innately driven by their internal values which drive their behaviors and actions. An individual who prioritizes teamwork or creative problem solving will bring those same values to their new business role. If a candidate has opposing values of what the company’s vision is — i.e. an efficiency-minded individual in a more social-oriented role — can cause misalignment to the detriment of both the new employee and the hiring business. This creates turnover and lost productivity related to not hiring the right person for the role.
Getting Started with Culture Alignment
Getting culture alignment right begins with knowing what levers must be pulled for organizational success. Consider the following steps in getting started:
1. Measure current employee values. Query your current employees and measure their core individual values. This should be a safe process that promotes honest reporting as you want to learn what core values are most important to them as individuals and not as employees trying to offer what the company wants to hear.
2. Review your findings. Identify both the most commonly found culture values among employees and those found in your top performers. Consider also any differences among office type, level, and function. Use these findings to determine which values you want to align your company around, what subcultures to support, and what value conflicts need mediating.
3. Confirm core values. Select a small group of clear and simple values on which to align the company around. It’s important to also understand and recognize the company’s values from the founding members of the company and/or those owner operators
4. Communicate with new and existing employees. These final core values should become the company’s new guiding principles. Communicate them to all employees and incorporate them as part of the company language and literature, while building them into the operations of the company and how it’s run. All new hires should be evaluated and hired with these core values at the forefront.
5. Synthesize all processes. Finally, all new and existing organization processes should be tweaked or adjusted so that they align with the chosen core company values.
Getting company culture alignment right is not an easy task. It takes thoughtful review of current staff and processes and implementing the results takes time. At Equal Parts Consulting, we are here to guide you throughout the process for best effectiveness. Contact us to learn more today.