Importance Of Employees Fitting In Your Organisation’s Culture?

Hiring staff that purely fit the company culture is simply not enough, as an organisation is a dynamic entity – expert explains.

Highly engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave their companies than their disengaged counterparts, according to research conducted by Officevibe, a Canadian based organisation which provides methods to measure employee satisfaction and tips. The research also found that companies with engaged employees typically experience 2.5 times more revenue than competitors with low engagement levels. These statistics show that creating a workforce that engages with its employees to ensure they are in sync with the organisational culture is becoming increasingly important, to not only retain staff but to ensure a healthy work environment.

This is according to Marieta Groeneveld, Consulting Psychometrist at Work Dynamics – a leading HR consultancy in the country, who says that the first and most important step is to establish an identifiable organisational culture. “It is crucial for businesses to have an organisational culture in place that supports the company’s objectives and enables its employees to deliver on the organisational goals. In addition to this, organisational culture can be a key source of competitive advantage and must be maintained and managed effectively.”

She adds that a good tool to use when determining the culture of an organisation is the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI), based on the Competing Values Framework of Cameron and Quinn. “This assessment is used to indicate the current and preferred culture along four culture types, namely Clan (people focused), Adhocracy (entrepreneurial), Market (competitive) and the Hierarchy (process driven). Then through workshops the underlying values are identified.”

There are various ways in which an organisation can measure whether employees and prospective employees fit their culture, says Groeneveld. “One of the most widely used methods involves workshops and culture surveys to determine a broad and efficient examination of prospective employees.”

The next step involves recruiters and interviewers, as they need to understand how the culture fit, or rather culture misfit, translates into the screening questions, explains Groeneveld. “These screening questions help to screen out, for example, individuals who are too aggressive, rude and individualistic when the dominant culture is a clan culture and requires collaboration, respect and teamwork, regardless of their expertise. The culture fit of a person is then determined by calculating the correlation between the profiles of the organisations values with the profile of the individual’s preferences.”

Groeneveld warns that the situation needs to be approached with some caution because culture fit procedures should not instantly restrict entry for people with oppositional values. “This could result in insufficient diversity in an attempt to maintain the current culture. Carefully examining the current versus desired culture as measured by the OCAI provides invaluable insights.”

“It is therefore advisable for organisations to partner with an independent service provider who can objectively judge the suitability of a potential candidate and who can identify the need for organisational culture to be re-evaluated,” concludes Groeneveld. In order to build a resilient organisational culture, businesses must not only hire employees based on stability, but must focus specifically on adaptability. Additionally, it is important to hire a diverse group of people. If everyone in the organisation thinks the same, there is little room for innovation. On the other hand, if the organisation only hires innovators, who would bring stability and act as the voice of reason?”