Invest in people who share your firm’s values

IOL pic CA Overworked0 SUPPLIED "Organisational culture governs the actions of employees and enables them to deliver on organisational goals," says Groenewald. File picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Investing time and money by employing individuals who meet and complement the values and beliefs of your company may benefit your business in several ways, according to Marieta Groenewald, a Work Dynamics consulting psychometrist.

She says that similarity between individuals and organisational context leads to a guaranteed positive outcome.

Read: Corporate chemistry is real - and important

“Organisational culture governs the actions of employees and enables them to deliver on organisational goals. When employees fit in with the corporate culture, they are more likely to feel at home and identify more closely with the employer. This in turn may contribute to staff being more loyal to the company, as well as increased levels of motivation to deliver on the strategic goals and objectives of the business,” she says.

“Although setting up a recruitment process based on culture initially may have some costs, the organisation will definitely see a return on investment due to reduced staff turnover in the long run. Decision-makers often use their gut feel or common sense to measure and confirm culture fit. This screening process however eliminates prospective employees regardless of their expertise. A thorough assessment through workshops and culture surveys may be a better instrument to usefully identify culture fit.”

Work Dynamics uses the Organisational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI) based on the Competing Values Framework. It defines four cultural types – clan (people focused), adhocracy (entrepreneurial), market (competitive) and the hierarchy (process driven). Through workshops the other underlying values can then further be acknowledged.

“Identifying people with fit qualities has substantial benefits. Once a company’s culture has been created it is very difficult to change, so employees must maintain and promote a culture that is giving the organisation its competitive advantage,” says Groenewald.

On the flip side, business owners must consider that the current culture might not be sufficient for the organisation to thrive in future. Employing people who closely match the culture of a company seems ideal but this may well restrict the entry of people with opposed values. People who share different views may encourage sufficient diversity of thought while still maintaining the desired culture.

“Companies can’t afford to hire for stability, they need to hire for adaptability. If everyone in the organisation thinks the same, where will innovation come from, how will growth take place? If we only hire innovators, who would bring stability and the voice of reason?” Groenewald says.

She says decision-makers should never lose sight of the essence of the objective to appoint people who are capable of doing their assigned job.

“Culture fit is one aspect of the complete puzzle that serves a purpose, but in the end job fit is the core goal,” says Groenewald.


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