Research emphasises importance of getting company culture right – and keeping it going long-term

Here’s an example of how important the culture is to an organisation’s overall health: according to recruiter Robert Half, more than one in three workers would not accept a job at a poor company culture even if the other aspects were ‘perfect.’

The findings, which appear in the company’s new report, Organisational Culture: The Make-or-Break Factor in Hiring and Retention, also show that it is a two-way street. Nine out of 10 US and Canadian managers surveyed said a potential candidate fitting in with the organisation’s culture is as or more important than their skills and experience.

Of the more than 1,000 US and 500 Canadian office workers polled, the majority said their ideal culture was team-oriented or supportive. Yet many agreed their employers were more ‘traditional’ in their approach.

Changing this mindset could become key on both sides of the coin. While the employee may be looking for the right culture as an ideal place for their skillset, employers – particularly ambitious ones – will know good employees would have other overtures.

“Organisational culture is the new currency for hiring and retention,” Chuck Edward, Microsoft head of global talent acquisition, told the report. “The people we want to hire have a lot of options in the job market. They want to know what we stand for and how our corporate culture drives our mission and makes an impact.”

It’s worth noting as well that examining a company’s culture should not only be restricted to the recruitment process. “Retention begins on day one,” the report noted. “Once newcomers are on board, you want them to maintain their positive feelings about how the work gets done and what your business stands for.

“Don’t let them think your descriptions of the workplace culture were just lip service,” it added. “The onboarding process, when spread over time, provides an ideal opportunity to keep emphasising what it’s like to be a part of the team.”

“This research reinforces the notion that finding the right fit involves more than evaluating someone’s qualifications and experience,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “There has to be a focus on what motivates that individual and the type of work environment in which they will thrive.”

You can read the full report here (email required).

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