The First Step to Creating Corporate Culture

bn354072Do your employees come to work each day because they want to or because they have to? If you’re not sure how to answer that question, the issue may lie within your corporate culture. Companies that emphasize a strong corporate culture typically have more engaged employees, lower turnover, and higher productivity – basically, their employees enjoy the 8-10 hours a day they spend at work and actively pursue opportunities to work harder.

While employee perks and benefits are definitely a big component to positioning your business as a preferred place to work, one of the most important steps you can take when striving to build or maintain a productive corporate culture begins in the hiring process.

Know Your Culture
Can you define your company’s culture? It can be tricky, but understanding your corporate culture and being able to clearly communicate it is important. Job seekers, especially younger generations, want to work for companies where their values are shared and where they feel like they belong to a group of dedicated professionals working toward the same goals. When you’re trying to attract top talent, it’s not necessarily enough to just tell a job candidate what sets your company apart from others; you need to be able to truly show it.

Look Past the Résumé
A well polished résumé is important, but when interviewing a potential new team member, you need to examine the individual as well. On paper, a candidate may be everything you could hope to find in an employee, but that doesn’t guarantee they’re right for the job. Build an interview process that will help develop a complete picture of what a candidate will bring to the table and try not to just take their résumé at face value. The interview process is your chance to really evaluate someone before committing the time and expense of bringing them onboard. Take full advantage of it and be sure you know exactly what you’re committing to.

Don’t Rush It
Hiring for culture is a process. Simply grabbing the first person you see who fits the bill can be risky. Take your time and do your research. In the long run, the extra time and effort put into being certain you have chosen the right candidate will result in a new team member who is ready, willing, and capable of producing top-quality work. Ensuring a good cultural fit is imperative to maintaining productivity and minimizing the negative impact a new employee may potentially have on a well-oiled team.

Involve the Team
While it’s ultimately your decision as a leader, allowing your team to be involved in the hiring process is an excellent way to help ensure a potential new employee fits in. The people who are impacted the most by a new addition to a team are the ones who will be working side-by-side with them on a daily basis. So, whether it’s including your team in on the interview process or arranging a lunch time meet and greet, getting buy-in from your existing employees before you make a final hiring decision will go a long way toward maintaining a strong corporate culture.

Defining your corporate culture is an important part of building a business that will last. The companies who invest in and commit themselves to creating a working environment based on a shared set of ideas, values, and beliefs will be the ones who will reap the benefits of increased camaraderie, reduced turnover, and greater productivity.

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