Having recently hired a new team member to our Professional Services recruitment team, it got me thinking about the sheer volume of subtle actions and behaviours within our day-to-day work environment that reflect our company culture and influence how a new hire perceives the business.
Company culture can often be the unspoken deal-breaker for new employees, so hiring someone that aligns with your company values, contributes and upholds the essence of what makes your business unique and enables your culture to shine, is crucial. But once you’ve brought them on board, the next big challenge is how to introduce a new employee to your company culture, ensuring it can continue serving your organisation well into the future.
Here’s my best advice on integrating your latest hire into your culture, based on the successful strategies we have used within the Beyond Recruitment team.
Defining Company Culture
Company culture comes down to two key factors; what your organisation is trying to achieve (by means of the strategy), and what it does to enable employees to deliver that strategy in a positive, collaborative and cohesive environment (by way of the company values). Company culture isn’t something you can find, nor is it something you can easily fake. In fact, it’s a little bit like placing a mirror to your organisation that reflects it from every angle. One of our inspiring clients summed it up quite succinctly by describing culture as “how the business acts when the boss is not around.”
Here at Beyond Recruitment, our values are clear, consistent and firmly entrenched in all aspects of our everyday work. Ensuring that our teams understand and promote our values enables our company culture to flourish and, ultimately, attracts the right people for our business.
Our Beyond values are as follows:
These are at the heart of everything we do!
Why is Culture Important?
From a candidate’s perspective, culture is something they enjoy knowing about. If an employer can clearly demonstrate their company culture during the recruitment process, this is a big selling point, so take the time to show what’s important to you and don’t try to be something you are not. However, this also needs to follow through in real life. Candidates today have a lot of choice; they won’t choose you if they don’t feel it’s the right fit, and if you don’t treat them the way they expected when they join your team, they’ll move on quickly.
Keep in mind that, while it is important to hire people that share the same core values, introducing your culture isn’t about cloning your existing team. In fact, every new addition to your workforce will in some way contribute to the evolution of your culture over time – also known as “culture add.” Rather than freezeframing and conforming to a certain idea of the culture through training and documentation, organisations should make an effort to respect and celebrate the individual perspectives. At Beyond, our values work alongside the team itself to create the culture, and constantly evolve as the team does.
How to Integrate a New Team Member into Your Culture
Ensuring that employees integrate smoothly into your company culture starts early and can mean the difference between a successful new hire that stays with the business long term, and a candidate leaving your organisation quickly, only for you to start the whole process again.
We find that providing our prospective employees with plenty of information about who we are and what we hold dear is a great way to start. Our orientation process is a team effort – and deliberately so! We provide a welcome pack full of goodies and IT systems, phones, access cards and anything else they might need from day one. It might sound simple but it’s all part of creating a good first impression and a clear statement about how we like to do things.
Our inclusive environment means that we work together as a team, enjoy each other’s successes and share and learn from our mistakes. Open communication is the sign of a thriving company culture, after all.
Shadowing work colleagues is another great way for new hires to observe the working environment and learn how a typical day or situation might play out. This allows them to experience genuine scenarios, from celebrations and successes to crises or problems, and witness exactly how our team responds.
One of the most powerful ways to share your company culture is simply to lead by example, as the way key people act says a lot about the values your company holds to. Our manager is focused on owning her mistakes and decisions, providing learning opportunities that are not at someone’s expense, treating others with respect and behaving as she wants us to behave (clear, open, honest and transparent).
Introducing the company culture is a vital aspect of employee onboarding, and getting it right is fundamental to the longevity of that new team member within your organisation. However, at the end of the day, the best approach is to have a firm grasp of the essential values that drive your organisation and create an environment in which every member of your team is able to live them out in their day-to-day work.
For more advice on company culture, or if you’d like help with the Professional Services recruitment process, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me.