Creating – or Correcting – Your Company’s Culture

Creating – or Correcting – Your Company’s Culture

VentureBeat:

Share an authentic picture of what it’s like to work within your company.  Instead of filling your career page with industry-recycled ways in which you fulfill someone’s career, consider pointing out true positive aspects of your culture, in addition to the areas that may frustrate a potential employee.

This article resonates with us, as we take company culture very seriously.

We’ve won Metropolitan Detroit’s 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For for five years in a row, and have received accolades from Crain’s multiple times with their Cool Places to Work and Cool Places to Work in Tough Times awards.  So by every measure, you’d assume we’re a great place for anyone to work, just a picture-perfect blend of of the glossy virtues you see espoused when most companies wax poetic about what it’s like to work for them.

And you’d be wrong in that assumption.

Ask anyone who works for us: our culture is amazing, but not for everyone.  We tell this to candidates during the interview process with blunt candor.  We have a communication style that is sometimes startlingly direct and the polar opposite of the plastic corporate-speak you find in other companies, we stand by the notion of doing what’s right for the client even if it means we leave money on the table (and we support employees who act in this manner), and we ask our folks to think for themselves and act as a messenger for our brand.

To paraphrase sloppily, with great empowerment comes great responsibility.  We ask our folks to rise to this challenge.  Many do.  Some do not.

And that’s why you need to be honest about what you are and what you want to attract.

No culture is a perfect fit for everyone, so it makes sense that companies should hone their recruiting messaging to draw the folks they need and want rather than painting an impossibly utopian picture of the organization when the reality is something different.

What makes a culture great is a having the right people in the right job who jibe with your organization’s personality and style.  It serves no one to cast a wide net with marketing-speak only to have talented people figure out your culture pitch was just a sales job a few months into the gig.

It’s not a crime if you aren’t attractive to everyone because you are honest about what your company is.  It is a crime to paint yourself as something  you’re not because you have a marketing-level understanding of what culture means.

Treat the concept of culture carefully.  Once you have it, it’s like eyesight: you only truly know its value once it’s gone.

(VB link Fbooked by Brandon Chesnutt)

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