How to Make the Most of One-On-One Meetings

The one-on-one meeting is a unique and powerful device in the office. So much of our time at work is spent in group meetings, deciphering email chains, sending instant messages, or collaborating amongst other employees. When the time comes for two individuals to sit down and have a one-on-one conversation, it’s usually a time reserved for serious discussion.

For leadership, these meetings are especially crucial in building trust and a healthy relationship with your team. According to Quantum Workplace, 53% of employees say their relationship with their supervisor is a very important part of job satisfaction. For employees, the discussions in one-on-one meetings can lay the groundwork for any future success at a company.

Given the impact these meetings can have on workplace morale and culture, it’s especially important to take the necessary steps to make them as successful as possible. These are just a few of the ways that both parties involved can ensure a productive and impactful one-on-one meeting.

Plan Topics Ahead of Time

It can be easy to walk into a one-on-one meeting with the mindset of “winging it.” The problem is that this approach often reverts to safe answers or discussion points, which means that sometimes the important, uncomfortable can be missed. At least a week before the meeting, create a list of topics or questions that you want to be covered in the one-on-one. Be sure to prepare notes on any specific examples or projects you want to discuss, and don’t be afraid to talk about both the good and the bad.

Make Sure it is a Two-Way Conversation

This meeting is supposed to be a conversation, not a lecture or a rant. Make sure both parties involved are prepared to answer the same questions and to discuss specific points. What are some of your goals? What are some of your fears? Share your own before asking the other person involved in the meeting. The goal is to have an honest discussion that feels collaborative and communicative.

Discuss Topics That Wouldn’t Be Discussed in the Open

If the point can be made in an email, group meeting or amongst other colleagues, save it for those channels. The one-on-one should be a deeper, personal discussion that offers a safe space for honesty. This can be an awkward approach to your one-on-one meeting at first, but if both sides commit, it will result in a more informative discussion on how both can grow and make future work better.

Focus on Growth

“How can I use this discussion to make myself better?” That should be the ultimate question involved with any one-on-one discussion. If you’re a manager, ask about how you can be a better leader, or ask for one specific trait that needs to be worked on or improved. If you’re an employee, ask about what specific steps need to be taken for your career to reach the next level. By using growth as a lens for the discussion, both sides will feel motivated and more receptive to any feedback.

Follow Up

Nothing can derail all of the good done by a one-on-one meeting like not following up. In fact, 78% of people who did not write down goals or have follow up reports post one-on-one were less likely to achieve those goals. Make sure that key next steps are documented and available for both parties to review. Keep them on hand for future meetings so that both individuals can track any developments or achievements.

The one-on-one meeting is a powerful tool for building healthy working relationships and impacting a company’s overall culture. With the help of these tips, both individuals involved can ensure that these important meetings reach their full potential.

Communication & Culture with Remote Employees

The idea of a traditional workplace has shifted in recent years. As professional communication has continued to transition towards more online tools, so has the rise of remote employees. In fact, employees working from home has grown 103% since 2005.

Remote employees certainly have their own set of advantages, in terms of flexibility and comfort, but often times these employees struggle to have the same connection as those in the office. So how can companies working with remote employees maintain their culture? These are just a few ideas and examples of challenges that many businesses face when working with remote employees, and how to maintain a consistent organizational culture.

Constant Communication

When an employee isn’t in the office, it’s an important to ensure they have access to every communication tool possible to keep them in the loop. Team instant message options like Slack, Hipchat or Lync provide easy, conversational ways for remote employees to collaborate with the team in-office. Video conferencing is also extremely useful, especially in more collaborative meeting settings. Google Hangouts or Skype sessions with remote employees will ensure that they feel part of the team and get a better sense of the energy in a room during a meeting.

Establish Expectations

The common fear with remote employees is that productivity will see a drop as they work from home. To combat this, make sure that remote employees have a crystal clear expectation of what needs to be done on a daily basis. Define what hours they are expected to be online and available for collaboration, and make full use of online project management tools to keep track of the work they are producing. These online tools will also help create transparency, so that the whole company can see the contributions of remote employees even though they aren’t in the office. This is especially important when personal interactions are minimized.

Social Connection

The occasional team outing to lunch or cake in the office for a birthday are common events for a remote employee to miss. While these may seem trivial, these rituals, as we previously discussed, go a long way in creating the ideal workplace culture and fostering connections between team members. Bringing remote employees in at least once a year will allow them to soak up the cultural vibe and offer a fresh perspective on the inner workings of the company. These few days will build stronger team bonds than a year’s worth of video chats for meetings. Companies should make sure to include some team building activities or company outings during a remote employee’s visit, allowing them to interact with individuals outside of their immediate workflow or scope.

As we see more employees opt for the remote lifestyle, it’s important to prioritize the ways your company or client works with them to keep them ingrained in their workplace culture. These are just a few examples that require consistent commitment, and will continually evolve as more companies embrace this paradigm shift.

The 4 Effective Archetypes for Communication

An Archetype is a model, prototype and/or pattern of thought; an example of a certain type of person or thing that we all have in our culture. They are designed to offer you power in select circumstances and will aid you in navigating conversations and connections in nearly every situation. The four archetypes below are the most powerful for communicating effectively.

The Strong Lover

As a strong Lover you will consistently direct your attention and focus toward your audience and what is extraordinary inside them. You are an expert at human connection.

Your ultimate power as the Lover is that you sincerely care about people. This is evident in your communication; people like you and feel that you are a real person who can understand their particular needs, desires and fears. People trust you because they can see that you are just like them.

Your strong emotional center allows you to align with others by making yourself vulnerable and admitting your own flaws or “failures” from a position of strength combined with humility. This allows people to easily relate to you and feel a bond of “me too” instead of the separation that comes from thinking “so what.” You firmly believe in the potential of everyone to be great.

The Strong Warrior

As a strong Warrior you will tell people what they need to hear, even if it means losing rapport in the moment because your audience knows intuitively that you are acting for their greatest good; they will end up thanking you for your honesty and courage.

The strong Warrior gets things done. You compel people to move now by using your conviction to cultivate urgency. Your strength as the Warrior often compensates for outside uncertainty and helps people make decisions that can change their entire life in a moment.

As the strong Warrior, you motivate people to take action based on their best interests and their own reasons. You want people to move based on their own internal factors.

The Strong Magician

As a strong Magician you will use your talents and gift of communication to help people break through limiting behaviors and make progress in their lives. By listening to your message people will feel that they can go out on their own and create the results they desire. You love to motivate people based on ideas and on the latest and greatest new technology.

Your greatest tool is your imagination. You thrive on helping people reach the next stage of their growth by applying logic and reasoning combined with imagination. You will create fascination as you mesmerize people with your eyes, voice, physiology and energy.

People are moved by your charisma as the Magician, and by your promise of possibility. You are an independent thinker as a Magician; you don’t feel the need to belong to any group and you can change your identity based on current circumstances. This flexibility is key to always reaching your outcome.

The Strong Sovereign

As the Sovereign you are driven by the expectation that your vision will be realized; driven by your desire to leave a legacy of great impact. You believe in wholeness, connectedness and oneness with your vision. Because you are entirely focused on your vision, you are unaffected by circumstances or events outside of yourself. Your eye contact is strong and unwavering; you never appear nervous. You will often speak in universal terms, using words like “we” and “all.”

You want others to be a part of your vision because you recognize the inherent value in every person; you know that everyone has something to contribute. As the Sovereign, you are very humble because you are experienced enough and wise enough to know that your power does not come from yourself, but from a source greater than you.

You can look out on a crowd and without saying a word, people in the gathering feel your energy and are impacted by your emotion. You challenge people with love and respect to push themselves in order to reach their desires, goals and dreams.

How Rituals Can Strengthen Your Workplace Culture

What did you do before you got to work this morning? If you’re like most of us, you probably completed some combination of the following: you showered, brushed your teeth, got dressed, ate breakfast, and (maybe) caught up on the news or answered email. Normal morning rituals.

Despite how trivial it may seem, these rituals are important to building a feeling of confidence and comfort for the day. The rituals performed at the workplace can and should function much the same way.

Now, most workplaces already practice numerous rituals – celebrations for milestones, weekly meetings, and reviews are just a few examples. But rituals can be used in other, more creative, and very powerful ways. They have the potential to integrate a certain mindset or set of values into the organization.  According to Scientific American, workplace rituals have shown to reduce anxiety and increase people’s confidence, even for people who don’t believe in rituals. The best ones do this in a way that feels natural and authentic to everyone, from the CEO to the newest entry-level employee.

To help inspire your own ritual ideas, we wanted to take a look at some of the best examples exhibited by some of the biggest and most influential companies.


When Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz returned to the company in 2008 after an 8-year hiatus, he made it his mission to focus on improving the company’s quality of coffee. To do this required a large investment from every single employee at the company to learn the product and see it in a whole new light.

Schultz included a new tasting aspect into the onboarding of each new employee. All new store hires would attend a tasting – where their managers would present their favorite coffees. During the tasting, they would talk about where the coffee came from, how it was roasted, and tell the story behind it. This ritual not only educated all employees on the roots of the coffee – it ingrained the importance of the coffee’s quality into each and every employee at Starbucks. 


The popular online artisanal marketplace Etsy has always prided itself on handmade, locally sourced items. At first, this was just a group of people gathering for lunch at a couple of picnic tables twice a month. Soon the group grew to such an extent that Etsy leadership created a monthly lunch series called “Eatsy” – where local vendors were brought in for a catered lunch to the entire Etsy team twice a week.

The lunches not only allowed employees to get to know one another better, it furthered the company’s commitment to using local products and vendors and supporting the artisanal community.


Inspiration can strike at any moment, and for Facebook employees, the company wanted to make sure they had a way of capturing that inspiration and using it constructively.

The Facebook Analog Research Lab does this by printing posters with quotes or messages that Facebook employees send into their lab. So when someone is sitting in a brainstorm or at one of the many hosted lectures, they can easily type out an idea or quote and create a poster they can hang around the office later that day.

This ritual is unique in that it promotes not only open creativity but also speed, something that Facebook has always pushed — hence their “Fail Fast” mantra.


These are just a few select examples of how workplace rituals can positively impact your culture. If you have any ideas or examples of your own, feel free to leave them in the comments below.

The 6 Basic Emotional Needs in the Workplace

We all have six basic needs that we are subconsciously striving to meet in our lives. These emotional needs are fundamental to how we experience life, both personally and professionally.

As a leader, understanding what emotional needs drive you and your team professionally can make all the difference in your interactions with others and the effectiveness of your leadership. When an experience or action meets at least three of our human emotional needs, we find ourselves feeling compelled to follow through with that action.

1. Recognition (Significance):

The need to feel important and acknowledged for your abilities and unique individuality. How you feel is influenced by external sources – outside in.

2. Self-Esteem (Contribution):

The need to feel good about yourself and your actions. The need to feel self-esteem from the inside out. To give and add value to your circle of influence or world.

3. Love (Connection):

The need to connect with others. The need to belong and feel like a part of a team, family or activity. The need to be cared for and to care for others.

4. Creative Expression (Growth):

The need to continue personal growth through challenging yourself, gaining knowledge and learning. Expand.

5. Security (Certainty or Comfort):

The need to feel certain and/or confident about things in your life, situations, actions or plans. The need can be met from internal certainties or attempted to be met externally. Individuals who rely on external certainty are more susceptible to being in fear of losing their certainty since they are not in control of where it comes from.

6. New Experiences (Variety):

The need to change up the “routine” of everyday habits, patterns, likes or dislikes. The ability to have options and choices. Stimulation. Some examples include dressing differently, ordering different meals or driving a new route.

The importance of each need being met may differ depending on the time of your life, the situation and the type of employee. However, showing empathy and recognizing the fundamental needs that drive you and others in your life is very important to be an effective leader.

For more great leadership tips, be sure to stay tuned to the Align to Thrive blog, and follow us on social media: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

Understanding Your Clients and How To Communicate With Them

Just like understanding the behaviors and motivations of employees, understanding your clients’ emotional wants and needs is vital for the success of your company.

At Align to Thrive, we’ve surveyed hundreds of CEOs and company leaders, and recognize that all people buy products or services for emotional reasons and justify their actions with logic. In order to make a successful pitch, it is incredibly important to understand how the client wants you to communicate while presenting your products or services.

Based on the cultural assessments we’ve administered over the years, we’ve found there are four common archetypes that are important to recognize and understand.

understanding-your-clientsSignificance Seeker

Internally motivated and internally focused. Most CEOs, entrepreneurs and sales leaders fall into this category. Their confidence borders on arrogance and their charisma is for their own achievement. “I’m self made and I want others to acknowledge that in how I communicate, how I dress and how I make my decisions.”


Driven by: Goals, accomplishment, achievement, own prestige and company’s vision

High on: Interaction, expression, intuition, assertion, big ideas and intelligent risk

Low on: Caution, avoidance and dependency

Wants: Acclaim and recognition

Office: Personal symbols and picture, designed to impress others

Physical: Dresses well, expensive clothing, strong posture, good eye contact

Hands: Positioned behind head


Appeal to: Self-image, quality and uniqueness

Method: Listen, enthuse (if more visionary), explain plan and execution and outline cost benefits

Communicating: Prefer directness and efficiency, stress opportunities and fast results

Value Seeker

Internally motivated and externally focused. Highly effective and beloved CEOs and leaders fall into this category. These individuals are very inviting, and are a great client if you’re prepared and if you’re offering value. They will help you sell them if you’re sincere and focused externally. These individuals are great long-term clients, but don’t take them for granted and follow through on your commitments.


Driven by: What’s good for others and the greater good, compassion and need for information

High on: Assertion, congruency, coaching, mentoring, searching

Low on: Aggression, time pressure, superficial behavior

Wants: Results, harmony

Office: Cluttered and stuffed with papers and books

Physical: Dresses comfortably, inviting posture, confident, aware of your state and will adjust to make it comfortable

Hands: Positioned in front


Appeal to: Contributing to a cause, understanding

Method: Offer options, balance and fairness

Communicating: Prefer options with supportive detail, but give a logical approach and ample time to think and make decisions

Esteem Seeker

Externally motivated and internally focused. These individuals are either very defensive or overly excited. While maintaining rapport, you must create more certainty in your tone, body language and eye contact. Must have great intent and pre-frame every objection to the best of your ability. You have to earn their trust and demand in an intelligent and respectful way. The Esteem Seeker can be a fantastic, long-term client if you create a strong connection.


Driven by: Desires, own recognition and power

High on: Risks and dominating others

Low on: Planning, balance and listening

Wants: Justification, reward and pleasure

Office: High tech, designed to impress others

Physical: Dresses flashy or unique to shock or stand out, aggressive, uncomfortable and aware of you

Hands: Positioned behind head


Appeal to: High achievement, feeling superior to competitors

Method: Comparison, gut instincts and hunches

Communicating: Prefer solutions with proof statements, supply testimonials from satisfied clients

Connection Seeker

Externally motivated and externally focused. These individuals are very nice and considerate, though they can be a little uncomfortable and frustrated when they have to make a decision. They will usually have someone with them to help them decide what to do. These individuals are very apologetic and really wanting you to keep great rapport to help them trust you enough to buy. You must offer certainty, keep rapport and assume the sale with the promise of long-term support from you and your organization.


Driven by: People, others, pleasing who they respect

High on: Caution, listening, rapport, connection time

Low on: Assertion, control, change

Wants: Security, safety, connection

Office: People pictures, untidy papers, family things for others to enjoy

Physical: Dress very appropriate and inviting, posture submissive and friendly eye contact respectful (same feedback)

Hands: Over mouth


Appeal: Reliability, low risk

Method: Offer market trends, testimonials, social proof or what’s best for family or organization

Communicating: Prefer to talk with enthusiasm and like recognition of their purpose and their vision


Do any of the descriptions above sound like CEOs or leaders you know? Though there may be individuals that fall outside of the common archetypes or are a combination of two or more, most leaders typically fall under one of groups above.

Understanding your clients’ motivations and preferred methods of communication can be incredibly beneficial for forming new relationships or nurturing existing ones, so keep the information above in mind next time you’re making a pitch or presentation.

For more tips on professional communication, leadership, organizational culture and more, stay tuned to the Align to Thrive blog.

How To Respond To Negative Glassdoor Reviews

You’ve probably heard this story before: A disgruntled employee is let go from a company, and as a parting gift, he or she leaves a cringe-worthy review of the company on Glassdoor or another similar website.

Glassdoor and other company review websites can have a major impact on hiring and employee retention, but rather than acting brash or being accusatory with ex-employees, we’re sharing some different approaches for reacting to negative Glassdoor reviews. To improve your company culture, maintain employee morale, increase transparency, improve employee retention and let employees know that their opinions and feedback are valued, keep a calm, objective approach when responding to Glassdoor reviews and consider the tips listed below.

How Not to React


1. Never Force Employees To Create Positive Reviews

Forcing team members to create positive reviews may help your web presence, but it certainly won’t help employee morale.

Besides, if and when an employee quits, they could potentially delete their review and create a new one noting that management is forcing the staff to create positive reviews. Should that happen, all of the glowing company reviews would look awfully out of place.

2. Never Confront Ex-Employees

Review sites like Glassdoor are entirely anonymous, but if you do know who wrote the review, don’t accuse or confront them. Confronting ex-employees is a sure way to ruin relationships and damage your company’s reputation.

If you’re right about who wrote the review, you’re only going to further upset the ex-employee, but if you’re wrong, you might push another ex-employee over the line and cause another negative review.

3. Don’t Dismiss Negative Reviews

Don’t dismiss negative Glassdoor reviews as outliers. The odds would suggest that if one employee feels this way, others do too.

Use these reviews as an opportunity to improve your company culture and see if the negative feedback is an issue for employees in similar positions or within the same department.

How to React

1. Consider the Criticism Objectively

There’s usually a degree of truth in negative Glassdoor reviews, so consider them objectively and do your best not to let personal feelings or pride get in the way of taking criticism. If you valued the opinion of the individual when they were an employee, then objectively look at the response and make some changes if you feel it has merit.

2. Get a Free Employer Account

Sites like Glassdoor offer free accounts for employers as well. These accounts give you the power to respond to reviews, flag inappropriate/false reviews and provide accurate company information for your profile. Paid versions of these accounts even offer analytics and demographics on who is viewing your company’s profile and what exactly they’re looking at.

3. Respond!

Responding to Glassdoor reviews is the best way to let ex-employees know that you value their feedback and want to improve the company culture. Some reviews may be too inflammatory or contentious to respond to, but in many instances, responding can provide a positive counterpoint to negative reviews and may even cause a reviewer to reconsider what they wrote.

For a look at some great examples of company leaders responding to reviews, check out this article from Glassdoor.

4. Be Transparent

You don’t have to share every negative Glassdoor review with your entire team, but don’t dismiss reviews if your team or potential hires bring them up. Answer their concerns candidly and honestly, and leave them with the feeling that employee feedback is considered and valued.

Improving the Employee Experience

Improving your digital presence is crucial in today’s competitive market. Attracting top talent can be difficult, but if ex-employees are publicly criticizing your organization, it can make it that much tougher. However, you can use these sites to your advantage by being transparent and proactively responding to your critics.

So if you’re unsure how to respond to Glassdoor reviews or a negative review on a similar website, use it as an opportunity to improve your organizational culture. If you want to improve your reputation with ex-employees, current employees and potential hires alike, let people know you encourage feedback and are always looking for ways to improve the employee experience at your company.

The 4 Employee Personality Types & How To Approach Them

If you’re using the same cookie cutter approach to motivate every team member in your office, it might be time to break up your efforts based on employee personality types.

Sure, no two employees are ever the exact same, but many individuals share common motivations and preferences when it comes to their work. By recognizing the major personality types that your employees fall under, it becomes easier to understand what inspires and drives individual employees to perform.

Based on Align to Thrive’s IC-8 Cultural Assessment and the thousands of employees we’ve surveyed with different personalities, work behaviors, motivations and viewpoints, we’ve found that employee personality types can generally be broken down into four major categories.



Driven by a need for significance, these individuals are internally motivated and have an internal drive that pushes them to be the best. They are also internally focused; when faced with a decision they will first think “what is the best decision for me.” Not that they don’t think of others, but of all the employee personality types, Superstars are the most concerned with themselves.

Superstar employees want to know you value them and their time. These people are strong assets to their organizations and are very rational, objective and highly productive. They are more rational than relational, and focus on achieving results and accomplishing tasks. Their skills and competencies lend themselves very well to effective project management.

What Superstars Look For During An Interview:

• The organization meets their standards of excellence
• Compensation and significance are big influencers
• Treat them with respect to build instant rapport
• Help them get the information needed to make an effective decision
• They’re calculating risk takers, meaning that before taking action, they assess the benefits
• Not strong “people-persons” and may come across as somewhat gruff and insensitive. Usually, it’s nothing personal; it’s just the way they communicate
• Appreciate getting down to the facts quickly and can be impatient with light-hearted banter

Superstar Attributes:

• If at any time they feel they may not be getting what they deserve, they will not hesitate to speak up
• They focus on self-set priorities and goals and work to achieve them
• They are able to delay gratification in order to benefit sometime later
• They choose a course of action that balances risk and reward
• They prefer to work alone
• Wants individual rewards and recognition
• They are quick to pounce on any advantages they see
• They are well-informed and up to date with the economy and current events

Key Adjectives That Describe Superstars:

Motivated, focused, persistent, persevering, effective

Team Buildersemployee-personality-types-team-builder

Team builders are driven by the need to grow. These individuals are internally motivated like the “superstars” but they are externally focused. When faced with a decision, they will first think what is the best decision for the greater good.

What Team Builders Look For During An Interview:

• Driven by a compelling future and the potential for growth
• View money as freedom
• They will do extensive research to prepare
• They want to make sure that your message is consistent with what they already know
• They want you to be straight forward, confident & thorough
• Early adopters and are ideally suited to work in emerging market organizations
• They want information, answers and congruency
• They appreciate the details and are generally patient in walking through explanations and processes

Team Builder Attributes:

• They are most productive when working in groups
• Team wins are individual wins
• Collaboration among departments is essential
• Relationships are important
• They balance concern for the organization with concern for individuals
• They look for win-win solutions
• Others hold them in high regard because they trust him/her
• They are strongly future-oriented
• They are inspirational and effective influencers/persuaders

Key Adjectives That Describe Team Builders:

Inspirational, persuasive, empowering, motivational, fun, self-assured, energizing


Connectors are driven by their relationships and fostering others’ connections. These individuals are externally motivated and externally focused. They seek certainty from outside themselves and focus on helping others in return.

What Connectors Look For During An Interview:

• They want to be part of a community
• They focus on the team component and “community” type culture
• They want to know that you care about your employees and maintain strong communication
• They want to know you are the expert and have their best interest in mind
• They want to know you will have the answers when needed

Connector Attributes:

• They want to do their part and assist where needed
• They need structure via rules, policies and organized procedures
• They will enforce and follow the guidelines established by their organization
• Expect them to be conforming and conventional
• They will respond to others requests but may fail to anticipate future needs or provide “knock-your-socks-off” service
• When faced with a situation outside of policy, they will seek approval from superiors before acting
• They focus on fitting in and doing what’s right
• They prefer to have a leader to show them what steps they need to take

Key Adjectives That Describe Team Builders:

Friendly, cooperative, agreeable, approval seeking


Guardians want to feel good about themselves. These individuals are externally motivated and internally focused. They want certainty from the outside world and are focused on what’s best for them.

What Guardians Look For During An Interview:

• They need strong confident leaders
• They can be cynical and suspicious of others’ motives
• They listen for hidden meanings
• They will be watching for your level of commitment to your employees
• They welcome compliments and acknowledgment of their worth and value but it has to be delivered in a very confident fashion

Guardian Attributes:

• They may have unrealistic goals, so it’s important to set proper expectations for them so they understand their responsibility
• They need assurances that they’re doing the right thing
• It can be very difficult for them to accept a compliment
• If the leaders are assuring, confident and knowledgeable, they will be your most loyal employees
• Other things happening in their lives may influence performance
• They will hope for the best but expect the worst
• They are big risk takers, especially if they think they have an edge or believe it’s a sure thing
• They will usually act like they already know what they’re being told – even if they don’t
• They don’t want to show any signs of being uninformed or weakness or vulnerability

Key Adjectives To Describe Guardians:

Powerful, dominant, self-doubting, adamant

Do the employee personality types above remind you of any employees or co-workers? If so, try motivating them based on their personality type rather than approaching all employees the same way.

To get a read on all of the employee personalities within your company and the organizational culture as a whole, Align to Thrive’s IC-8 Cultural Assessment can give you a thorough diagnosis. Between employee attitudes at your company, behaviors within your culture and leadership strengths and weaknesses, the IC-8 makes it easy to improve your company culture for optimal growth and performance. For more information, you can read more about the IC-8 Cultural Assessment here.

Are You Hiring the Right Employee For Your Culture?

Most hiring managers have seen it before: a top employee resigns with little notice, sending your company into an immediate hiring frenzy.

Acting abruptly and quickly hiring a replacement may fill the workload void without interruption, but impulse hires can have negative long-term effects. Rather than rushing to fill the position, taking time to ensure you’re hiring the right employee will boost your bottom line, strengthen company culture and cut down on long-term hiring costs.

While most interviews revolve around qualifications and responsibilities, it’s also important to consider the cultural implications of a new hire. If your interviews aren’t covering personality, work behaviors and company values, it may be time to reevaluate your approach.

Ask All The Right Questions

When a company is hiring, there are some basic steps that almost all hiring managers go through. Those are:

1. Determine the Job Description

2. List Specific Responsibilities

3. Determine the Qualifications Required

4. Set a Compensation Range

5. Advertise Internally and/or Externally for the Position

6. Create Interview Questions

While laying out the information above is essential, many companies forget to ask some of the most important questions. Consider these:

1. What is the company’s culture?

2. What type of person will fit into that culture?

3. What type of person will work well with the existing team?

4. What attributes does the candidate need to be successful?

5. How do we attract this person?

These ideas are often never discussed during the hiring process, yet they are some of the most important questions to ask. Without considering a candidate’s impact on company culture and whether they will work well with existing employees, it is impossible to determine whether a candidate will be a long-term fit for your company.

The Consequences of Making the Wrong Hire

When it comes to hiring, Intuit CEO Tim Parker writes, “employee on-boarding and training is going to cost you far more than the salary you agree to pay. In fact, each person you hire could cost you twice that amount — or more.”

With that in mind, it is essential that an organization understand the behaviors that need to be encouraged and rewarded in order for the culture and organization to thrive. Especially in highly technical industries, training and on-boarding can be very costly for company management.

Whether it’s a personality mismatch, a lack of appreciation, a dull office environment or poor leadership, the vast majority of employee resignations stem from culture-related issues. By making company culture a priority during interviews, you’ll be able to better determine if you’re hiring the right employee and finding a long-term fit for the vacant position.

What Type of Employees Will Fit With Your Culture?

Before making key hiring decisions, it’s important for company leaders to assess their current organization and identify the ideal culture they envision for their company. Hiring the right employee becomes much easier after you’ve clearly identified the types of candidates that will excel in your office environment.

If you’re interested in diagnosing your current organizational culture, Align to Thrive can help. For more information, learn more about the IC-8 Cultural Assessment or contact an Align to Thrive representative here.

Understanding The Impact of Organizational Culture

So your company came up short of its annual goals or your profits aren’t quite where they should be. Rather than crunching the numbers or blaming the almighty dollar, maybe it’s time to take a look at your organization’s culture and values.

It’s no secret that a company’s culture can have a profound effect on employee morale, engagement and creativity. However, the impact of organizational culture also heavily influences company productivity, innovation, performance and overall profit. Though your company’s culture won’t be measured in profit-and-loss reports, it’s easy to spot the effects of a positive or negative culture.

The Statistics: Cause for a Culture Change

Many leaders are still unsure of whether investing in their culture will positively affect their bottom line, though there has been significant research highlighting the impact of organizational culture. Research from Gallup in 2013 found that growth cultures promote above average engagement and can increase performance by up to 240 percent. In 2014, Aon Hewitt found that companies with stronger cultures outperform the average company in revenue growth by 6 percent, operating margin by 4 percent and total shareholder return by 6 percent.

Additionally, having a sound culture strategy can be a major boost for attracting talent and retaining existing employees. It has been estimated to cost employers roughly 40-200% of an employee’s salary to replace him or her depending on the position, and Glassdoor found that 60 percent of job seekers want to see an overview of the company’s mission, vision and values.

Beyond the internal impact of organizational culture, a company’s vision and values can affect customer behavior as well. McKinsey found that 70 percent of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they were treated. With a positive culture in place, customer satisfaction and retention will surely increase.

Creating a Culture Geared for Growth

You may be starting to recognize some shortcomings in your current culture, but making changes to your company’s vision and values can prove to be quite the challenge. We’ve listed some tips and questions to ask yourself below to align your company’s culture toward long-term growth:

  • Always put your people first. They are your most valuable asset!
  • Be fully associated to your purpose (mission). Why are you in business? Millennials will follow a strong purpose before they follow a large paycheck.
  • Foster a curiosity to grow. Give someone a purpose to follow larger than they could create on their own and the opportunity to become the person who achieves that purpose. They will not leave.
  • Promote fun. Employees spend more time at work than they do at home. If they are having fun, they will stay longer and be more productive.
  • Set a clear and concise vision. The brain is a cybernetic mechanism and needs a target. A company is the same way. All of a company’s employees should be working together to create the same vision to promote employee retention, attraction and increased productivity.
  • Measure all the things that REALLY matter, not just the profit and loss statement. Ask yourself: Are the employees happy, do they feel supported and do they have what they need to be successful in the organization?
  • Over communicate a compelling future – this goes hand in hand with the purpose. Show people they can grow with the company.
  • Don’t boil the ocean. Don’t try to change everything at once when creating a growth culture. Create an overall plan and then start working on your plan one piece at a time.
  • Be a role model. It all starts at the top. Leaders must lead the charge, by conveying the company values everyday, working on the plan and being the ultimate culture role model.
  • Strategy is congruent with the culture. Make sure that how you’re achieving your vision is in line with the culture you’re creating.

Now that you understand the impact of organizational culture and its effects on a business, it’s crucial to ensure that your company’s culture is geared for growth.

Align to Thrive’s IC-8® Cultural Assessment provides a comprehensive evaluation of your company’s existing cultural strengths and shortcomings. If you want to put the foundation in place for long-term company growth, contact an Align to Thrive representative here to start improving your growth culture today.