An organization’s culture, more than any other single factor, is responsible for influencing the behavior of its people. And it’s the behavior of its people on a day-to-day basis that most influences whether or not an organization reaches its goals.
Owning Your Culture: Living Your Core Values
Most organizations define their culture around a certain set of core values, or guiding principles that dictate behavior and action. Core values are the foundation on which employees perform work and conduct themselves. Usually part of your mission statement, they should spell out how your company expects its employees to conduct themselves with their peers, their clients and their communities.
Core values have to be more than a piece of paper. For example, if one of your core values is a positive work-life balance, but your employees are working overtime hours every weekend, that’s not a great message about the company’s respect for family time. On the other hand, if your company emphasizes teamwork as a core goal and regularly recognizes employees for exhibiting collaborative behavior, your company will earn the reputation for being a great place to work.
As you look at attracting and retaining high-potential employees, take a look at your top performers. How do they exhibit your core values on a daily basis? This is the strong message you want to resonate within and about your company. For every job interview, regardless of job level or type, include motivational fit questions. Some of these include:
- Tell me about the best job you ever had.
- What were your responsibilities?
- Was there anything you didn’t like about it?
- How do you prefer to approach your work?fit
- Tell me about a job you disliked; what was it about it that you made it a bad fit?
- What qualities about an employer do you most admire?
- What are you most proud of?
By asking questions like these, you should be able to get a good idea of whether a candidate is the right fit for your organization. Be sure to include some of your top performers in the interview process. They are the ones most likely to gauge whether your culture and the candidate are a good fit for one another.
Culture is an important part of hiring and retaining top talent. Make sure your organizational culture is clearly defined by strong core values that are put into action. By doing so, you can own the conversation about your culture and use it as a powerful recruiting tool.