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How to Define Your Company Culture

Articles / 11 Sep, 2019

In a survey of 2,000 employees, 43% said they are looking for a new job and cited corporate culture as the main reason.  As Executive Recruiters in the Finance & Accounting industries, we hear hundreds of questions from qualified candidates about employers and opportunities they want to learn more about. Candidates that are truly interested in a position often ask one question that can be difficult to answer – what is the company culture like? If you haven’t had an honest, intentional discussion about what makes your company culture, you may be ill-prepared for answering this hot question.

At VIP, we work to build long-lasting partnerships with our clients that enable us to best understand your company culture and communicate it to top candidates in your industry. We’ve learned the steps every company must take to define their company culture and are sharing what we know to help you strengthen the way you communicate yours.

Define Your Shared Purpose

When defining your organization’s company culture, you should first seek to establish your mission and values that drive what you do every day. What is the goal you are trying to accomplish? How have you decided to collectively accomplish that goal? Once you define this purpose, you’ll attract talent that wants to help you achieve it.

Define Your Leadership Style

Job seekers often leave their positions because they don’t feel compatible with their direct report. When defining your culture, it’s important to set expectations from the start. Do you have an open-door policy? Does your organization value ideas at every level? Do you practice a more authoritative or participative leadership style?

Don’t be afraid of losing the interest of candidates that may not like your approach to leadership – you’ll find the best fit by being honest and transparent and allowing the candidate to make an informed decision.

Define the Path for Growth

More than 70% of “high retention risk” employees want to leave their current organizations because they see no future for advancement. The potential for growth is a critical factor for job seekers, and you can reduce attrition and attract qualified talent by setting clear expectations about growth opportunities from the start. Your company culture includes the way you reward excellence and address unsatisfactory performance. When defining your company culture, be sure to include these points.

Define the Nature of the Work

Your company culture includes the way your team works to accomplish your company goals. Do people work in collaborative teams or are they expected to perform as individuals? Is the work fast-paced or can it be a bit slow at times? Your job description may not clearly define the way a new hire is expected to accomplish the tasks involved in the role, but your company culture will explain what approach they’ll need to take.

Describe the Environment

It’s important to understand that work perks do not fully define company culture. While many job seekers will value coffee stations, game rooms or nap pods, these perks are not a long-term solution for an organization’s culture. That being said, the environment you work in will have an effect on the culture that develops inside its walls. When describing your office culture, you can mention the layout of the office, the amenities, the common spaces, and even the favorite spots people visit during their lunch hour. By describing the physical environment, you can help a potential new hire visualize themselves in your organization, leading them to make a more informed decision about the position.

When defining your company culture, remember to be fully transparent. Your culture is a core part of your organization, and you want to attract talent that will contribute to and feel comfortable with it. Interested in learning more about transitioning new team members into your organization? Reach out to us, we’d love to help.

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