Can You Change Your Company’s Corporate Culture?

A lot of business owners and recruiters like to throw around the words “company culture”, but many have no idea what company culture really is. Defining a corporate culture involves a number of factors, including attitudes, behaviors, philosophies, and values. Essentially, your company’s culture reaches and extends into all of the intangible aspects of your business, from leadership down to entry-level employees. As a result, defining, organizing, and sticking to your company’s culture is an important part in finding the right people for the right positions.

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Assessing Your Company’s Corporate Culture

If you’re unsure about current corporate culture at your place of business, you’ll want to complete a thorough assessment. This can be done by first solidifying what your vision for company culture is. Are your employees encouraged to be forward-thinking? Do you place a high level of emphasis on teamwork? Do you provide quirky benefits to employees, such as an hour each day to freely dream up innovative projects? After you’ve figured out what you want your company’s corporate culture to be, then take some time to see if you and your employees are living out that culture. Talk to employees and ask them about culture within the workplace to see how they view things. You might also call together a companywide meeting to discuss cultural successes and concerns.

How Company Culture Affects Recruiting and Hiring

Aside from daily worklife, a solid vision for your company’s culture can also play a major role in the recruiting and hiring processes. When seeking out new employees, you’ll certainly want to look for candidates that exhibit aspects of your culture, but you’ll also need to verify these aspects during the interview process. When interviewing, discuss elements of your company’s culture to see how a prospective employee responds. For example, if your culture places an emphasis on individuality, ask the employee how he or she feels about working on his or her own. If he or she responds by telling you that he or she would rather work in a team setting with lots of guidance and conformity, then he or she may not be the best fit.

Don’t Forget About Training

Even if an employee doesn’t respond favorably to all of your culture questions, you need to remember that culture is not necessarily something that is ingrained in people. Instead, it is often learned over time after being immersed in a certain culture. As a result, don’t overlook candidates who appear to offer valuable skills and the ability to learn your company’s culture. Many people will easily conform to cultural standards once they are exposed to these standards for a period of time, and failing to realize this could lead to you passing over otherwise viable candidates. Once hired, make sure that you not only talk about your company’s culture, but also that you live it out each day in order to assist new employees during the acclimation process.

Should HR managers hold a training session, educating new hires on the company’s corporate culture? How much time should be dedicated to this, if any?

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