There are times in life when you find yourself listening to the same conversation over and over again while you fight the urge to swan dive off the nearest balcony. Like that one friend who complains about the same thing but never changes it. Or the employee that is always saying they’re going to leave, but never do. Or apparently, like every business writing about culture but never maintaining one within the walls of their business. It’s become the hottest trend and the latest buzzword flying around. Search the internet and you will find mountains of articles written about company culture, why it’s important, or how to achieve it. And what you’ll find is that most of the advice comes from founders of businesses, or from the suits who sit around the boardroom table.
But what about the people down on the ground who actually form the culture? It seems no one speaks to them which is quite frankly absurd, so we pulled together our guys. The ones in the trenches placing candidates in companies, talking to clients about business, and creating the Protis Global culture right here in Miami. Because who better to discuss what makes company culture than the recruiters on the front lines of hiring strategies:
WE ASKED: WHAT DOES CULTURE MEAN?
It is unquestionably, always, no matter what, 100% to do with people. It’s never about a ping-pong table or some bean bags in the corner and no amount of cool slogans scribbled on a wall makes culture. It’s about walking through the door every day and understanding the unspoken and understood behaviors of a group of people. That includes the fine nuances of when you can tease someone, what’s too far and how you elevate those around you. If you’re all on the same page the culture begins to form and thrive.
With similar attitudes and shared values, everyone can work towards a common goal and in doing so, unifying the company as one.
WE ASKED: WHAT AFFECTS COMPANY CULTURE?
It always comes down to honesty. If you’re working in environments in which you can’t be your true self, or speak your mind, or even contribute to bigger company conversations, it will begin to eat away at the culture you’ve managed to grow your business. We’ve had countless candidates come to us for new roles because they feel silenced in their current role. Or feel like they just can’t be themselves. If everyone comes to work every day to play a different person, we can never build a company culture that sticks. We have to allow people to be who they are and trust that they will perform in the role you’ve given them. After all, you hired them, it’s time to trust them.
WE ASKED: WHY IS THE CURRENT MARKETPLACE FAILING AT CULTURE?
We sit and watch so many clients talk to us about perks and freebies and yet when it comes down to it, that’s never what the candidates are most interested in. They want to know about how the team gathers and interacts with each other, how the leaders interact with the team and if honest conversations are happening. You know, all those human things that are sticky and complicated, but will actually stick your people together to create a business you can scale.
It’s those day to day interactions that become the building blocks of culture. If your team is remote, how do you bring them together to create that? And if you really care about culture, you need to be prepared to accept that sometimes the most skilled individual, won’t fit into the team and discord in the team will lead to problems further down the line. Something hiring managers never want to believe and trust us, it always ends in tears and a fortune in hiring costs that could have been avoided.
WE ASKED: WHAT CAN COMPANIES DO TO IMPROVE THEIR CULTURE?
We’ve never been more connected than we are today and technology is making it so easy for us to communicate, use that to your advantage. Create spaces, online or offline, that can become centers for collaboration and conversations. Let your people know that their voice is waiting to be heard and anyone can add strategic vision, no matter how far up or down the ladder you are. No one voice has more value than another. The true value and impact lies in the ability for everyone to speak together and bring something to the table. A ping pong table will never do that (not saying it can’t happen over a ping-pong table, just saying the ping-pong table sure as hell ain’t the catalyst for it). Only great relationships and an ecosystem of shared goals and values will make that happen, and in turn, allow your business to flourish and grow.
Our team sits and talks to our clients about hiring strategies and employee engagement every single day, and they also talk to one another. Whether it’s to support, tease, laugh with or encourage. There are conversations happening across every facet of our business, and in doing so it’s allowed us to create a company culture at Protis Global that is truly exceptional. A culture that thrives even in the middle of hurricanes.