by Laura Timm, Business Consultant and
Advisor, Business Culture & Alignment
If you want to build a great company, not just a good one, you need to attract great people and build a company culture that represents both the core vision and beliefs of the business as well as its people.
Great companies are built on great people, and they have a strong and distinctive company culture. Company culture in which individuals and teams thrive and create astonishing results together, ensuring continuous growth and success for the organization. If you look at companies like the Virgin Group, Tesla Motors or Apple, they are more than just big widely recognized brands, they represent more than that. They represent a feeling, a desire, a lifestyle, a sense of belonging. They all attract individuals who feel the brand speaks to them and represents who they are. The saying ‘We attract who we are’ applies both for people and for companies. The people you recruit, are more than just what is written on their resume. It is no longer a world dictated by bare skills and experiences typed up on someone’s CV, and it hasn’t been for quite a while. Great companies know this. They know that they need to dig deeper; they need to find the right talent and culture fit amongst all the candidates. Even when an individual has all the right qualifications and experience required to fill the role in theory, they might not be the right fit for your organization. They might be able to do the job for a while, but they will not go the extra mile or bring that passion, drive and creativity to the table the way highly motivated individuals do when working in the right company culture. Individuals who do not match the culture of your organization usually end up departing after a short while, leaving you or your HR team in a position having to re-start the whole recruitment process all over again, not to mention the time, effort and resources it takes to train someone new.
Tesla Motors for example looks for individuals who embody the same values and vision that the company represents, people who always try their best, are environmentally conscious, take risks and are constant learners. These attitudes are a key part of what an individual needs to represent for them to be a suitable fit for the organization. They know that the success of their recruit depends on identifying the right individuals who don’t just match the requirements listed in the advertisement for a vacancy, but also are a great fit for the culture of the business. They ask specific questions digging deeper into the belief and value systems of the potential hire. As a forward thinking and progressive company, they also ensure they find out the individual showcases strong problem-solving skills and can demonstrate this capability. These attitudes are the shared values of the individual and the organization, combine those together and you can build a strong long-lasting foundation for your organization.
When we look at Virgin Group as an example, they are known for putting people, both employees and customers, at the core of their business. Even on their company website they tell anyone interested working for the organization that they will be measured against the company values during an interview. At Virgin, it is strongly believed that their values are intrinsically linked to their success. Therefore, it is vital to ensure any new hire shares the beliefs and values of the brand. They ensure the individual demonstrates these values through their actions, so questions to determine these will be asked during an interview. Questions around beliefs and approaches, but also examples of handling difficult situations, especially those that showcase the individual’s ability not just to solve problems, but also demonstrate high levels of empathy, ensuring they can relate to others in order to put people first. Having fun and enjoying what you do is also part of the culture and demonstrated in external presence to the world (just think about any of the entertaining marketing videos you have seen, or when Richard Branson dressed up as a stewardess himself as an example) but can also easily be seen and felt when you interact with the employees; from the way they speak to you and the big smiles on their faces. The people working at Virgin Group are the true measure and example of the core values of the company and its culture.
Next time when you need to fill a position within your organization, think about the culture you have cultivated in the organization so far and ensure the people you hire match that culture. You will be amazed how quickly the right people adapt, gel with the team, the results they deliver, not to mention the passion and drive they come to work with every single day.
The culture you create in your company determines the success of your organization. Make sure the company values and beliefs are made very clear and pay close attention to who you choose to be part of the culture, as they will either help the organization flourish or tamper its growth.
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Email Laura Timm on Contact@lauratimm.com
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