Cultural fit is determined by shared beliefs and behaviours … mutual understanding and a natural alignment around the stuff that really matters. Consider the immense satisfaction you feel when you instantly ‘click’ with another person. Getting that kind of natural connection between the people and businesses you work with is equally satisfying and ultimately more profitable.
Getting to grips with your organisational culture and understanding what ‘fits’, can seem complicated and often requires an expert to carefully peel back the layers until you get down to the company’s core, but for now, think about … the perfectly well-qualified recruits who just didn’t gel with the team … the suppliers who seem capable but fail to deliver time and time again … the clients that you’ve worked so hard to acquire that just infuriate you. And, consider how the above situations have distracted your business – impacting on productivity and ultimately profitability. If your team, suppliers and clients have a similar culture, your business will be more productive and relationship building will become easier and more authentic.
But, that’s not to say a greater understanding of your culture should encourage you to create a company full of clones or engage suppliers whose vision is an exact replica of your own. As with any community, businesses require a healthy and positive mix for culture to really thrive. So, seek to understand ‘alignment’ – when cultures are aligned there are fundamental similarities that are well worth recognising.
Starting from the inside out, if you create a workforce who share similar beliefs and have a natural synergy you can rely on them to approach what you do consistently. You know that they’ll naturally have the right approach to customer service – they’ll know what to say and importantly what not to say. They’ll understand the nuances of your organisational culture … the ‘unspoken’ rules and boundaries. They’ll just ‘get it’ and you won’t have to spend countless hours shaping and moulding them to fit into an organisation that isn’t quite right for them, only for them to leave when they realise they don’t fit for themselves. Staff engagement will become naturally easy … conversations and working relationships across the business will be interesting and authentic … there’ll be a greater sense of energy and the business will feel alive.
An engaged team should be a vital part of your brand building strategy. With everyone singing from the same song sheet, your company culture will be inherent in everything you do. Recruitment campaigns will draw the right people closer and naturally repel those that won’t fit. You’ll be more attractive to the right kind of clients and forge the strongest relationships with the very best suppliers. Working with companies that are ‘right’ for you will make everything easier – scoping out work, agreeing commercials and solving problems will feel a lot less like bashing your head against a brick wall and a lot more like just coming together.
Understanding what makes your organisation ‘tick’ is key to finding like-minded individuals and businesses. By identifying employees, suppliers and clients that you’ve loved working with, you’ll be able to pick out the traits that comprise your perfect cultural fit. For example, within our business we like people who call a spade a spade. We love corners that haven’t been cut and leaders who respect and admire their people. We look for businesses with ambition and open to change. We’re optimistic and believe that in partnership, we can achieve great things. We’re pretty clear about all this stuff, which has shaped our strategy and helped us position ourselves to best attract our ideal clients.
Strength in a brand almost always comes from within and your business culture is a defining element of your brand. We guarantee that once you’ve got to grips with it, you’ll be communicating from a position of total confidence, both internally and externally.