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The term culture can at times be the elephant in the room.  All managers will boast that they have the best culture or that they need to hire staff who fit in culturally.  But what does this really mean?  How does an organisation find people who are in tune with its direction and the behaviours it wants exhibited?  Let’s break it down into some simple questions:

  1. What are the values of the organisation and how they are interpreted by the management team?
  2. What does the management team love about the values of the organisation?
  3. How does an organisation celebrate success and how does it performance manage?
  4. What do the best performers in each job function love about the organisation?

Asking yourself these simple questions allows you to profile the type of people who will have a positive impact on culture and help drive the organisation to meet its goals. Let’s explore the concept further.

What are the values of the organisation and how are they interpreted by the management team?

When values are launched, they form the blueprint for what an organisation stands for.  Once they are rolled out, it’s up to the management team to enforce them.  It’s extremely important for an organisation to have the right leaders to roll them out. How does the management team interpret the values?  Are the values real or just something to post on a web page or sales document?  The management team needs to live and breathe the values and find ways to incorporate them into day-to-day dealings with staff.

What does the management team love about the values of the organisation?

Which of the values resonate with each manager?   Which values do they use to motivate their team and how does the team respond to them?  Find out which value/s staff strongly align themselves to and why.  Once you know this, it makes it easier to get the best out of your staff.  It is also just as important for staff to buy into the message of their manager.  Find out what they like about working at their current organisation and their management group.

How does an organisation celebrate success and how does it performance manage?

When celebrating success, you need to understand why and how an organisation does it.  For example, is the organisation extremely results-driven? Will they only let their staff know they are doing a good job once their result has been achieved? Or does the organisation like to motivate and celebrate smaller wins by continually encouraging its staff?  This is key if you have a team member who needs a lot of positive reinforcement to achieve a strong result. They may struggle in a results-driven organisation if they don’t receive any feedback until the goal is achieved.  Does the organisation manage poor performance as required or wait for weekly meetings? Is it done one-on-one or in front of a group?  Think about how you recruit, and start building a profile of the types of people you need to be successful in your team.

What do the best performers in each job function love about the organisation?

This is a critical piece of the puzzle: find out why your best performers love working at your organisation.  What do they love about their team leader or manager?  In most cases, you’ll find that a well-liked manager, who has bought into the culture of the organisation, produces staff who love the company.  The more you know about why your successful staff come into your organisation every day and perform to their maximum potential, the better chance you will have of cloning that mindset.

So when you are looking to organise your next recruit, think about the above questions. Does that change your mindset about the type of person you want in your organisation?  The end goal is to have staff that love your organisation, managers and the direction the business is heading.

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