The past few years have caused unprecedented challenges and now record numbers (millions) of employees are quitting their jobs and companies. It may be time to check the temperature gauge to find out if your culture is on track to what you desire and expect. One of the reasons people are leaving organizations is that they will no longer tolerate a poor culture.
Many leaders I talk to believe they have a good culture, yet they are still experiencing problems with attracting and retaining employees. Do you need a culture tune? Check yourself by asking these questions:
- We have a good culture, so why are having a hard time attracting and hiring good job candidates?
- We have a good culture, so why aren’t employees’ recommending friends and family for open positions?
- We have a good culture, so why are we experiencing unhelpful conflict and territorial departmental issues?
- We have a good culture, why are we still losing are people?
As companies scramble to find talent, some things to understand are that job applicants are looking to get a feel for the type of culture you have, even before even applying for a job. Culture isn’t what you “think” it is, culture is what is what happening every day at work (the daily demonstrated behaviors, actions, and decision-making) that is your real culture. As Peter Drucker indicated, you may have the best strategy to beat the competition, but if your culture is not aligned, your lived culture (what happens at work) will eat that strategy for lunch.
As we are finding with many of our clients, if you are experiencing these issues, you may need a culture tune of or fine tuning. For example, today’s job market it like the real estate market. It’s a sellers’ market and today’s job market is an applicant’s market. Taking the same approach as in years past is not going to work. Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you showcasing your culture, in job ads, on your career site, on your about us page? Do you have videos of employee testimonials? There is no better testament than from your own employees and through video. Short videos that can keep applicants’ attention.
- Do your marketing images match who you are trying to attract? Today’s applicants also care deeply about diversity and almost 50% of our youngest generation are of a diverse population (non-white or other ethnicities and this doesn’t even include the LGBT community). Are you strongly considering diverse applicants, or are you giving up to 50% of talent pool to competitors?
- Are you showcasing what you believe in, such as your causes? Applicants want to know that you care about the community, that you serve another purpose than just making money. Do you show the involvement or just list the cause?
- As Simon Sinek touts, “Start with Why”. Have you provided applicants with the “why”, the what’s in it for them in the job ads and career site to attract talent? This is called the EVP (Employee Value Proposition). If not, your job ad may get very little consideration, let alone attention.
- Lastly, it may be time gauge if you need a deeper cultural tune up or fine tuning by reviewing your Mission, Values, and Guiding Principles (MVP) to determine if your people are MVP Champions (champions of your Mission, Values, and Principles). It is possible that the difficulties in the past few years have caused managers and employees to veer from your desired culture. It may be time to check the air pressure or to get a pulse of what might actually be happening in your workplace to help stop the bleeding.
- Exit interviews can be revealing, but why not find out before employees get to the point of quitting? Stay interviews can go a long way to gauge what is really happening as well as culture surveys to find out if you need a culture tune up or fine tuning.
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Dr. Martha Rader
CEO Rader Leadership: Developing Culture / Leadership / Teams and Impacting Business
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