Company culture and how your employees fit in it

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Organizational culture is a hot topic nowadays. This is especially relevant for companies trying to attract millennials, who look for a meaningful work environment even in their first jobs out of college. In fact, according to AIESEC’s YouthSpeak report, over 70% of young people want to have a job in a company that has a positive impact on society. Millennials want to feel like their work matters, so engaging them in the organizational culture is important.

Company culture is defined by the consulting firm Blue Beyond as the mix of values, behaviors, traditions, and aspirations that are reflected in your organization from top to bottom.

But how can you define what your workplace culture is? Here are three steps towards defining your company culture.

  1. Assess

Surveys, tools, observation, interviews; these all can give you valuable insights into what behaviors, values, and aspirations are part of your company culture. Keep in mind that there will most certainly be a gap between what you want your company culture to be and what you assess. This is ok because it gives you ideas on what to change already.

  1. Build

Get everyone involved, from HR managers to front office to the CEO: now it’s time to get your hands dirty. Get insights from multiple sources in the form of focus groups or workshops. This will help you see what exactly your employees desire and what is lacking in the current culture. Use the output of these touchpoints to guide you in defining the action steps needed to make a change and enlist everyone from bottom to top to make the change together.

  1. Re-evaluate

Culture is not static: it changes as the population ages, priorities are re-evaluated and aspirations shift. The same goes for company culture. In order not to let your company culture stagnate, build in regular re-evaluation points into your execution.

Once you have defined your company culture, it will be time to assess how potential new hires would fit into it. The interview process is a crucial element in this process, so make sure you ask the right questions.

It is also important to be transparent and openly tell the potential hire what the work culture in your organization is like, so they can personally assess whether they could see themselves working for you. Streamlining the recruitment process or using organizations specialized in recruiting young people can help you with this.

Engaged employees are productive employees. This is why building a strong company culture matters. The more comfortable, yet challenged, your employees feel at work, the better they will perform and help your organization grow.


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