The Importance of Cultural Fit
In our article “Why Performance Reviews Matter”, I explained that one of the key things we look for during reviews is cultural fit within our organization. As Volaris, we’ve found that an employee’s fit within our organization is just as critical as their performance. Too often businesses focus more on an employee's performance than whether they fit culturally within the organization. Why? Because there's this notion that as long as an employee performs well, who cares if they align with the values of the organization. To be honest, this isn't the case. Cultural fit and performance go hand in hand. The true stand outs of an organization are those that not only exceed performance standards, but also fit seamlessly into the company's core culture.
When an employee’s beliefs align with the company’s culture, a synergy is created. The employee will be dedicated to the company, thus work harder to achieve goals. This leads to not only higher performance out of the employee, but the employee works smarter and makes decisions that will benefit the company, as opposed to only bettering themselves. In addition, the employee will be satisfied with their job, and who doesn’t want happy employees?
What does cultural fit look like? These are employees who love what they do and are excited to come into work every morning. They want to see the company grow and actively contribute to that growth. It’s an understanding of the strategic vision of the company and a willingness to execute that vision. In essence, these employees will be brand ambassadors for the company.
For us, cultural fit also includes how employees react to and engage with the company BHAG. According to James Collins and Jerry Porras, who coined the term BHAG, it stands for big hairy audacious goal and “is clear and compelling, serves as unifying focal point of effort, and acts as a clear catalyst for team spirit. It has a clear finish line, so the organization can know when it has achieved the goal.” If employees don’t believe in that goal and see the purpose behind it, your team won’t be unified and you risk demoralizing your team because not everyone is on the same page.
What it all boils down to is your employees are a reflection of your organization. If your company is promoting a certain culture and set of values yet your employees are acting the complete opposite, it causes dissonance between how you are viewed by key stakeholders and how you want to be presented. The better the cultural fit between your employees and your organization, the stronger your brand is, and ultimately the stronger your performance as a company.
How do you view cultural fit? Is it something that is important to your company? Have you had any experiences where there was a cultural disconnect between a company and an employee? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.