These days, if you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a dozen times: workplace culture is crucial to retaining happy and healthy employees. It’s one thing to simply enjoy the role you hold in an organization, but that will only go so far. No matter how much your staff members like their particular jobs, employee retention will suffer if your culture is toxic.
Building a healthy workplace culture starts with your leadership team and is carried on by your staff members.
Here are a few ways to ensure you interview for culture fit.
1. Be clear about your values.
Here at Vanderbloemen, we have our values displayed in a variety of ways throughout our office. They are displayed in a mural on the wall of our conference room, as well as on small, individual wooden blocks that sit on each person's desk. We also highlight ways we witnessed our company live out one of our values every Friday at our staff meeting. Our values are fully integrated into who we are as an organization and we are all expected to use them as a guide for our work.
The best way to find a new team member that fits your culture is to make sure you're clear about your staff values in the interview process. That way, the potential hire knows how crucial cultural values are to your success as a company. Once you’ve described each of your values to your candidates, ask them to give you an example of a time they were lived out. This will help you see how they respond on their feet and if they understand the importance of your values.
Open-ended questions are a great way to dig in and get to know a candidate. This gives you the opportunity to observe how a candidate responds in a more pressure-filled situation (interviews are a lot of pressure!), and also get to know the goals and aspirations for his or her career.
Going beyond questions like "where do you see yourself in 5 years?" to "why do you want to be a part of this company?" will also allow you to see whether or not they really want to work with you, or just need a job. Candidates that simply need a job may work well for a while, but often turn out not be long-term culture fits.
3. Interact with more than one interviewer.
If possible, bring a variety of key employees into the interview process. This will help the interviewee clearly assess your organization and also lend a variety of perspectives regarding this new potential hire. This helps discern whether or not this person is actually a culture fit rather than someone that just has a personal connection with the interviewer.
4. Take a tour.
Show this potential team member around your office so they can have a better idea of who you are as a company. This will give them the opportunity to further assess whether or not they want to work with you (you don’t want to hire someone that doesn’t want to be there, right?), as well as give you chance to observe how they interact with other people on your team.
These are just a few tactics to ensure you’re hiring not only for competency, but also for culture fit.