Is it an affair or a genuine commitment to your company? Can you spot the difference?

July 3, 2018 | In Insights

Is your top pick to recruit really wanting to be part of your company or they simply feeling unloved and looking for a quick affair? It’s a familiar scene and wastes time and therefore money! Know the signs and how your People and Culture strategy can make all the difference!

Is your top pick to recruit really wanting to be part of your company or they simply feeling unloved and looking for a quick affair?

It’s a familiar scene and wastes time and therefore money! Knowing the signs and understanding how, your own workplace culture is vital to avoiding this wasted and expensive effort.

This is the first in a series of 3x blog articles that I will be writing on WORKPLACE CULTURE which will give you context and explanation by way of an example, some constructive questions to ask yourself as Directors and busines owners and then a plan to actively assist you in getting your workpalce culture clear and articulated.

1st Article- This first communicaiton is designed to give you an example to provide context, some idea and insight into what worplace culture actually is and which parts of you business are affected either positively or negatively because of the culture you have.

An example

I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is in a very senior corporate role. He was telling me how frustrated he was as he had gone quite far down the recruitment path with a particular candidate only to find that she ended up getting ‘an offer too good to refuse’ from her current employer, so he had to start all over again in the process to find a new person.. Sound familiar?

I find a great source of amusement and genuine interest in linking all aspects of HR back to romantic relationships as they really are no different. The thing is, people can relate to personal relationships and it makes the whole subject matter far more interesting to discuss. On a serious note though, ‘the affair’ can waste time and money and lead to a crisis of confidence in senior management when it happens, which it does, regularly!

It’s not just managers and directors who suffer in this situation, but job seekers as well. Company culture plays a significant part in cutting this off at the knees. Let’s delve into that…

As human beings, we ALL need to be part of something and feel that we belong. We all need to feel appreciated and valued regardless of whether we realise it or not.

If we feel as if something is missing from the scenario we are in, we will sometimes find it easier to look elsewhere for a greener patch of grass than to pursue change in what we know. Hence begins ‘THE AFFAIR’. We will find ‘THE ROLE’ and suddenly all is exciting and good again and we go forth confident that this new role will be ‘THE ONE’.

If in this story, we are the ‘greener pasture’ or the new company, we are actively pursuing this ‘GREAT CATCH’ and the courtship commences. Recruitment is like dating and at some stage, this turns into EXCLUSIVE DATING. We as the company, present this by way of the ‘ROLE OFFER’ and we wait patiently to see if our PROPOSAL FOR EXCLUSIVITY is ACCEPTED.

Meanwhile if our role in this story is the individual seeking greener pastures, we are shocked (and flattered) when suddenly, our current pasture becomes far more welcoming and in fact proposes an even mora attractive offer and we decide that we are loved after all and prefer to stay with the one we originally committed to. We feel guilty and have wasted both our time and others’ time but we prefer the ‘devil we know”. Suddenly the company finds it’s calls and messages are not returned anymore. ‘The affair’, which is truly ever all it was, is now over and if we are playing the role of ‘the company’, we have to lick our wounds and wonder what we ever saw in the ‘GREAT CATCH ‘to begin with.

Ok, so this is humorous to read but this is genuinely what happens, and I see it all the time…But why?

Why is it that as employees and in this case candidates, we need to wait to be offered what we are truly worth when we want to leave ‘a relationship’ and why is it that as companies, we struggle to spot the difference between a genuine partner and an affair??

One of the main reasons the above occurs from the candidate’s point of view, is that companies don’t really have their finger on the pulse in relation to their people and what they really think and feel.

  1. buzz word that we use here is WORKPLACE CULTURE. I hear companies referring to their great culture all the time. If you press these companies, you usually find out that when they say “great culture” all they mean is that staff are not leaving in droves. Sadly, just because people don’t actually leave does not mean that they don’t want to. If people are looking, they will leave, if not for the first ‘affair’, then for the second or the third.

If people are genuinely satisfied and inspired where they are, they – don’t – look. Period! Workplace Culture plays a huge part in ensuring that our teams are not looking for another job.

From a company perspective when looking for new team members, having a clear and definitive workplace culture than underpins all that you do, think and feel will let you spot these ‘affair’ hunters before they spend too much of your time and money. Read on….

What exactly is WORKPLACE CULTURE?

We hear this term constantly and unless you work in this HR space, it can sound like just another thing to deal with (or not) as the case may be. Most businesses really don’t actually have a clue what it means. As with many things, the term is just a concept, but the reality is very important.

Every workplace culture is different as all personalities that are part of any organisation are different. The personalities and the traits people have create what we call a ‘vibe’ and this makes up the superficial (I stress that word) look and feel of what we then call ‘a workplace culture’.

From the moment a new team member is recruited into an organisation, their ‘adventure’ is 100% affected by whatever the workplace culture promotes, discourages, believes, feels, thinks and values. All aspects of the leadership of a company, its traditions, beliefs etc, will all have a massive impact on an employee experience.

What are the specific aspects in your business that are affected by Workplace Culture?

  1. How well your recruitment works
  2. How effective your performance management processes are
  3. How long you can keep people in the business
  4. What your customer perception is of your company brand
  5. Profitability and overall time management

Let’s have a look at these very briefly- (they will be covered off in more detail in subsequent communications)

Recruitment as an overall in depth process needs to be well thought out and carefully executed with questions specifically pertaining to expectations and what employee experience is like in this company. If culture if not clearly defined and related behaviours actively carried out, companies are recruiting blind as to whether they are actually talking to the ‘right people’ (this is regardless of qualifications).

How successfully you can manage performance and productivity levels in the company comes back to your workplace culture. If the culture is lacking definition and the behaviours around it are inconsistent, you are going to have a hard time really managing performance in a way that gets result in line with the bigger picture of the company direction.

Retention of key people is like being in a marriage- it takes work and dedication, it also takes an ability to meet the needs of another. If the workplace culture is unclear, then being able to clearly communicate and look after team members for the long term if very challenging to achieve.

This ties in directly with your overall customer perception and brand. Companies that have high levels of attrition (staff turnover) generally have some pretty poor customer experience going on as well.

Overall profitability and company success is directly affected for the better or the worse by your employees’ workplace experience.

Most people will have heard the term- ‘toxic workplace’. This quite simply means that the workplace is not an enjoyable place to be and people tend to be working without common goals in mind. This wastes time, is spectacularly effective at causing staff attrition and is very, very expensive.

In a nutshell- it’s an area that many businesses have no idea how to tackle but it needs to be ‘consciously decided and acted upon’ from the time a company is created. Culture can change but just as it’s hard to change our habits and actions, it’s hard to change culture as it means changing ‘our ways’.

In the 2nd instalment for this blog, we will be delving into the specific questions businesses need to ask themselves to do what I call a ‘pulse check’ on the their workplace culture. This can be overwhelming and an unappealing area to delve into, but not if it’s tackled in stages. Understanding the basics covered here is the first part.

As always, remember, ‘Energy equals outcome, so make sure that you are focusing on the right things’.

For HR that really makes a difference to your company and your people. Call us at Vouch for a chat, we’re here to help you.