If only I had a dollar for every time I conducted a candidate interview during my career and I was asked, “what is the company culture like!” Yes, it is universally the most frequently asked question during an interview, a networking conversation, or cocktail party when discussing where someone works.
“Culture Fit” is a buzz phrase you may have seen and is often heard around the water coolers in any executive search firm or HR/Recruiter meeting. Generally defined as: “The ability of an employee to fit the core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that make up an organization.”
I have to admit, I’ve always been skeptical of those pop psychology claims of the one thing you need to do to be successful. Most of those claims are simplistic views of the problems we face or a single concept taken to an illogical conclusion. Having said that, I now find myself making a case for what I believe to be the one true key to lasting success. That key is self-management.
Innovate or Die. Often the mantra of CEOs and entrepreneurs. Stagnation of ideas and lack of change leads to lost market share, drop in retention rates in both clients and employees, and simply isn’t smart business. This is also true on a personal level. Nothing happens in the comfort zone – right? When we resist change we get stuck, resulting in lack of forward movement. That comfort zone could also be your danger zone. How often have you missed an amazing opportunity because you were afraid? Missed out on reaching a goal because you didn’t push yourself just a bit harder – a bit outside what you deem “easy”?
In my line of work, I speak with a lot of potential hires on behalf of client organizations, so it’s not surprising that I’ve learned quite a bit about what candidates want and don’t want from me and the companies I represent. We believe that what makes KMR’s search process different from every other firms is our focus on becoming an extension of your business. We learn the ins and outs of your company, what makes you different and unique, so that we can represent your brand and your culture in the candidate marketplace. Beyond the job functions and expectations, we consult with a client organization to fully understand their marketplace, their culture, their pain points so we can provide to you a short list of the highest quality candidates for the role, not a long list of possibilities.
For the first time in history, four generations are working side-by-side in the workforce, including the Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys (or the much talked about Millennial Generation) and it’s expected that number could rise to five generations by 2020. Many current leaders are on the brink of retiring in record numbers, and it’s estimated that around 66% of all U.S. businesses are owned by Baby Boomers.
Team building can conjure up visions of high ropes courses and team scavenger hunts that are meant to build teamwork, trust and collaboration among employees. While activities can be useful, developing a team is less about scheduling offsite retreats and more about daily habits that build a strong culture.
A McKinsey study found that more than 90% of CEOs planned to increase investment in leadership development because they saw it as the most important human-capital issue their organizations faced. And for good reason – strong leadership in an organization not only drives results but is critical to a company’s success and overall health.