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Strategies for HCM Professionals

4 key signs exhibited by employers with a strong company culture

culture fitIf you want your company to be in an elite class when it comes to recruiting, you’ve got to have the perfect sales pitch that can help you reel in talented employees. And if you’re like most employers out there today, the No. 1 selling point you’re trying to use is your company culture.

“Culture” is a vague term that’s rather difficult to define, but most job applicants these days are the culture equivalent of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart – they know it when they see it. A candidate can walk into a place of business and immediately recognize the signs. If workers appear happy, engaged and proud of what they do, that means the culture is good. If they instead look overworked, stressed and disgruntled, that’s an indicator of trouble.

According to a LinkedIn blog post, culture doesn’t just “happen” at a place of business – it’s systematically put into place, and it’s the direct result of the people running the show, their philosophies and their daily habits.

Lou Adler, author of “The Essential Guide for Hiring and Getting Hired,” noted that places with poor company culture tend to have clear symptoms, such as employees who are sometimes forced to work past midnight and co-workers who habitually backstab each other to get ahead. Adler argued that this is the effect of corporate leaders and middle managers instilling this way of doing business. Therefore, if you want a better company culture, it should begin with better leadership.

Having said that, a good company culture is about a lot more than just one person at the top of the hierarchy. Here are four more positive attributes of companies with a strong company culture:

A good business strategy
At its core, what is your business all about? Is the goal to maximize the excellence of your product or service? Is it to grow in terms of financial clout? Is it to help others? Your company needs to have a crystal-clear strategy and people who align with it.

Strong middle management
The CEO may set the tone, but other leaders also play a role in shaping culture. The people who are on the front lines, working with employees every day – are they engaged, motivated and spreading a positive attitude?

Hiring for cultural fit
You should hire people who will make good contributors. Don’t just recruit for talent – really think about what your office’s culture is like and how each newcomer will play a role in it. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch.

A willingness to adapt
Of course, culture, like anything else in business, is subject to change. Make sure your leaders and the rest of your staff are willing to adapt to a new way of doing business if necessary. Flexibility is key in today’s dynamic business world.

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