The importance of your corporate culture

The importance of your corporate culture
The importance of your corporate culture
David Halpern

Previously, we discussed how best to find and retain “A” rated employees.

This week, let’s consider how the rules around hiring have significantly changed. Twenty years ago when we went job hunting, the objective was to try to impress the interviewer. Today however, the tables have turned – as applicants are now doing the interviewing – of the employer!

That’s because, with the unemployment rate so low, ambitious talented people are screening prospective companies for the next step on their career path.

So, as an employer, other than throwing boatloads of money at these hotshots, how can you land the best job candidate for your team?

Here’s a hint: First discern their “why.” Why are they coming to you? Chances are they are looking for a workplace that will allow them to learn, grow, and be productive – while providing an environment where they feel like they belong.

Does your corporate culture foster these things? Have you even thought about your culture?

Most businesses have outlined some semblance of core values, but they tend to be more of a bundling of cliché words and expressions, such as “excellence” and “superior customer service.” But how do they know if they are meeting their goals of excellence or superior customer service?

The answer is they probably are not and cannot.

We can monitor and measure behaviors, but not values or attitudes. For example, if your company value is “respect each other and our customers,” does that mean call everyone “Sir” and “Ma’am?” Does it mean never being late for a meeting? Does it mean never using insulting words or profanity on the job?

You must identify the behaviors that you want your employees to emulate. So, list them, share them, repeat them, repeat them again, reinforce them, demonstrate them – and tolerate nothing less. If you go through this process (and you may need professional assistance, because it is not as easy as it may sound), then you will have a culture that reflects the beliefs and values that your organization truly embraces.

If a qualified candidate sees first-hand that your employees are engaged, feel appreciated, and seem to enjoy working for you – you will have your next new team member.

David Halpern is President of Exceptional Organizations, an executive coach, and group leader for Vistage Florida. He has been a CEO, CFO, and business owner. He helps business owners looking to grow their companies by providing consulting, coaching, data management, accounting, and interim senior executive services. As an active member of Miami’s running community, he will even help you improve your 5K time. Contact the “Coach” at

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