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Do you have a strong enough company culture?

In this previous article on the subject, we introduced two skilled warriors in the business world: HR and Talent Recruitment. I looked specifically at why they seem to be set up to compete against each other rather than complement each other. I proposed that it could have to do with the differences in their measurements and environment and I left it with two important questions:

  1. How do they communicate company culture to one another?
  2. How – if at all – is this translated to candidates?

In order to find these answers, we need to know if the business has a culture that is clear, well documented and easily translated from one employee to another, or to an outsider in such a way that it makes sense and can easily be repeated.

A good test for this is to go to any business’ website and try and find something that speaks of their culture within 60 seconds.

I tried this technique with Salesforce, voted one of the top 100 best companies to work for, and found it within two clicks and scrolls: I can remember the gist of it without too much effort: Ohana – a Hawaiian word that typifies the island culture of caring and giving back. It seems well integrated within the business and staff seems to participate wearing Hawaiian shirts each Friday to remind them of their culture and their commitment towards it.

I then tried the same exercise with Walmart and as expected, it is a much different experience since it is a retail store and not an online service provider. The gist is about their values being the driver of their culture. They value performance and getting better and set targets to achieve this. Their ultimate goal is to save their customers money. Reviews about Walmart as an employer are mixed at best. This is not a reflection on Walmart itself, just that it is a sign of our ever evolving times: The technology companies need the best talent in the world to evolve, and then get them too.

The fact is that bricks-and-mortar retail businesses will most likely significantly evolve in the not-too-distant future, by replacing their store attendants with AI equipped robotics and machines. Just have a look at Amazon Go, the group’s new retail concept store, for a taste of the future.

You can try this simple test for your company  – can you find an explanation of your company’s culture online in 60 seconds? And when you tell a colleague in your own words about it, do they know or recognize what you are talking about? If not, then your company culture is not explicit and there is a good chance your TR (Talent Recruiter) and HR manager are not going to be talking about this in any event. That means your new candidates are not going to have a seamless experience in the interview stages understanding your culture and living it once employed in the job. Therefore, the thing that should be the beating heart of your business is only experienced by luck, not by design as it should be.

In my next article, I will explore how you can uncover and make explicit your company’s culture  – because you already have one!

Ann x



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