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The Keys to a Killer Company Culture


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How successful organizations define, cultivate and evolve company culture through leadership, transparency and effective employer branding.

Published in: Recruiting & HR
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The Keys to a Killer Company Culture

  1. 1. 0 The Keys to Killer Company Culture How successful organizations define, cultivate and evolve culture through leadership, transparency and effective employer branding.
  2. 2. 1 46% of new hires fail within 18 months. 89% of these failures are due to poor cultural fit. “Culture is everything. The culture is the number one most important thing about a company. And the success of the company really depends on having the right culture and keeping it strong.” Curt Anastasio, CEO, NuStar Energy 54% of those who are proud of their company’s contributions to society are engaged at work. Engaged employees are 87% less likely to leave the organization than the disengaged. Schawbel, Dan. "Hire For Attitude." Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 23 Jan. 2012 Carnegie, Dale. "The Importance of Increasing Employee Engagement Using Corporate Giving Programs." Double the Donation, n.d. "Employee Engagement Research." Performance Coaching International. N.p., n.d.
  3. 3. 2 Why Company Culture? Strong culture • Attracts the best talent • Keeps your employees happy and engaged • Fuels performance and drives your bottom line How do you know you have a great workplace culture? • High employee referral rate • Low turnover rate You must be aware of your own culture in order to articulate it • Personality of the company • Hiring outside of your network 67% of workers believe that the most important aspect of a job is to have an employer with similar values. Companies with engaged employees perform up to 202% better.
  4. 4. 3 How do you set the stage for company culture? • Leadership influences culture • Design with the end in mind • Be deliberate before periods of high growth • Consistency is key
  5. 5. 4 Attracting and Hiring Onboarding Development and Training HR Operations and Benefits Programs Exit / Departure How does culture play a role throughout the employee lifecycle?
  6. 6. 5 • In mergers and acquisitions, most integrations fail due to cultural disparity • In global enterprises, workplace culture is layered on top of geographical cultural differences When an organization is going through growth, what kinds of things happen to company culture and what do you do to manage it?
  7. 7. 6 How can companies better hire for “cultural fit”? • Identify your culture • Assign behaviors to represent core values • Ask questions to identify desired behaviors and values • Utilize keywords and competitive research to craft searchable, specific job descriptions • Train hiring managers to interview for cultural fit
  8. 8. 7 What’s the difference between company culture and employer brand? • Employer brand is the way enterprises shine a light on themselves as an employer, to establish a distinguishable value proposition for current and future employees. • Company culture is the way an organization’s employees perceive and experience the employer brand throughout the employee lifecycle. • When there is a lack of congruity between the two, that’s when you run into breakdowns in cultural alignment.
  9. 9. 8 • Evolution, not revolution o Change must be handled in a sensitive way for older organizations o Acknowledge what has historically been done, but communicating why a shift makes good business sense o Be transparent about what you’re changing and why • Sometimes it makes more sense to change strategy rather than culture o Can you change your basic assumptions about current strategy? o Companies often fail due to refusal to change strategy Your Questions: How does a 100 year old organization begin to change its culture, any tips?
  10. 10. 9 • HR point of view is important in assessing cultural fit, as opposed to numbers and logistics • Questions to ask: o How does the organization conduct performance reviews? o What does the turnover rate look like? o What is the physical environment – creative, structured, communicative employees? o Does leadership lean on a robust policy manual or is there open conversation with HR and leadership? Your Questions: What strategies can you use to identify cultural attributes of possible acquisition targets before a deal closes?
  11. 11. 10 • Err on the side of transparency o It’s the right thing to do o Share when you can o Bring you employees along for the journey o It’s better to all be in it together, in celebration or disappointment • People leave companies because they are not kept in the loop o Have strategy of consistent communication and transparency Your Questions: We recently went through the possibility of a sale of the company. We presented it to the employees in a positive light, favoring total transparency. But the deal fell through. Should we have waited until it was a signed deal before disclosure?
  12. 12. 11 • Millennials bring unique elements to a company o Immense amount of knowledge at their fingertips o Entrepreneurial by nature o High expectations for career growth transparency • Millennials value internal promotion and progression planning o They are more proactive about upward mobility o Employers must adjust value proposition to include more learning and growth opportunities Your Questions: Does any particular facet of cultural fit apply to retaining Millennials?
  13. 13. 12 • Success or failure can be identified within the first 30/60/90 days or the first 6 months. o If there is failure, it’s possible something went wrong in the hiring process o Re-examine expectations, interviewing process, onboarding and training to determine where missteps occurred • Proactively identifying mismatched employees can limit impact on workplace culture – you don’t want disengaged employees sinking your ship. o Consider a “probationary period” and plan a comprehensive 90-day review with new hires o Seek co-workers’ feedback in a 360 review o Ask your new employees “Is this what you imagined? Are we in line with what you expected from the company?” o Evaluate how new hires communicate, challenge one another, propose new ideas? • Hiring failures often occur with entry-level positions , when new hires accept positions to “get in the door” at a company. o In these cases, evaluate the employee for cultural fit. See if there’s an opportunity for coaching or other roles for which the employee is better suited Your Questions: What does it failing mean with respect to new hires?
  14. 14. 13 Don’t forget to check out our Workplace Solutions Blog! Some of our latest posts: Paid Leave, CSR and 401ks: What the Best Companies Have in Common The Future of Wellness Programs – Beyond Skinny, Non-Smoking Employees 11 Ways You Can Start Working Smarter, Not Harder Bravo for Google's CFO, But Don't We All Want Work-Life Balance?
  15. 15. 14 We would love to hear from you! Call Workplace Solutions at 877-227-3916 Email us at Contact Us
  16. 16. 15 These slides originally appeared as part of a webinar titled: “Nurturing Company Culture Through Organizational Change” Held Thursday, March 12, 2015 Al Zink Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Joanne Derr Vice President of Human Resources at Norm Sozio President of Corsica Partners
  17. 17. 16 Al Zink Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Joanne Derr Vice President of Human Resources at Norm Sozio President of Corsica Partners Al has over 30 years of human resources experience in Global Enterprises. Most recently, Al led HR for Boston- Power as it grew a global business in US, China and Europe. Boston-Power develops portable power for transportation and grid applications. He has also held several leadership positions including VP of Human Resources for Compete Inc, Senior Vice President of Human Resources for Upromise in Newton, MA, Vice President of Human Resources of Thomson Dialog worldwide in Raleigh, NC as well as establishing Human Resources Functions for NewsEdge Corporation of Burlington, MA and for PictureTel Corporation of Andover, MA. Al received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and a Masters of Education in Human Resources from Boston University. Joanne is a human resources leader with a track record of translating business strategy to create significant organizational value. Passionate about diversifying a workforce through community relationships and partnerships, she has lead teams to develop the employer brand and expand social media reach to attract top talent to organizations. In prior roles, Joanne was the VP of HR for Neighborhood Health Plan, Associate Vice Chancellor for HR at UMass Medical School, HR Director at Nortel/Bay Networks, and managed her own coaching and consulting business. With expertise in merger and acquisition integration, Joanne has repeatedly been recruited to lead new strategic corporate initiatives, large and small. Joanne has a BS and MS from Boston University. Norm is the founder and President of Corsica Partners, a boutique executive search and integrated talent management firm providing comprehensive talent acquisition services to growth stage companies. Norm founded Corsica Partners in 2006 after 20+ years of experience in high-tech, working in operational roles spanning product development, professional services, marketing and executive management. In 1996, Norm cofounded Synchronicity, a VC backed software company that developed web-based design management applications for chip-design. Norm was heavily involved building the business, delivering products and ultimately positioning the company for a successful exit. Prior to Synchronicity, Norm held various positions at Viewlogic Systems and Digital Equipment Corporation. Norm holds a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Northeastern University.