Adding a new team member is a scary prospect, and not just for the new hire. Finding someone with the right skills is only the beginning, but as Logan Mallory of employee engagement platform Motivosity explains, culture fit is just as important and must start before they even set foot in the door for their first day.
Editor’s note: The author of this article, Logan Mallory, is vice president of marketing at Motivosity, an employee engagement platform.
Whether your culture is top-down or employee-mandated, top talent ranks culture as one of the most important things they look for. According to recent studies, 46% of job seekers find company culture to be an important factor in whether they will accept a position, and 15% have turned down a job due to a bad match.
And even for companies with a healthy corporate culture, getting a good match in the door is just the beginning. Helping new employees adjust to (and thrive in) a positive corporate culture starts from the first day.
First things first: Make good hires that align with your values
Studies have shown that companies that are driven by their mission and values are more successful overall, so it makes sense to want to attract similarly mission-driven employees. According to Forbes, employees who are “mission-driven” are 54% more likely to stay in a position for five or more years.
A company’s culture is created in so many different ways, but it should be evident within your marketing, branding and interactions with future, current and past team members. Before your employees even begin the onboarding and training processes, they should come into the company with a strong idea of what your company stands for and the kind of culture you’ve created.
And that sometimes may mean rejecting candidates who appear a good fit for the skills you need but who don’t seem to align with your values.
Implement a mentor system and group activities
Creating and maintaining relationships with team building and group activities are a great way to help people become connected to a company culture. Building connections with other team members early on can foster an incredible sense of community from the start.
New hires who are given a mentor when they first join the company are also given a lifeline to culture integration. They can ask questions, see how things are done and gain an invaluable perspective of their new workplace from someone who knows it well. Research shows new hires who were onboarded with a mentor by their side were 23% more satisfied with their overall onboarding experience.
Be transparent about salaries
New hires should not be left in the dark about their pay scale, promotion opportunities or raises. Instead, they should be given all of this information at the beginning of onboarding and be allowed to ask questions without fear of repercussions.
Transparency is an essential value for any company, especially when it comes to pay, raises, and promotions. According to a recent report from Indeed, low-to-mid-wage job listings have shown a high level of increased wage transparency since 2022. Interestingly, upper-level positions are showing the most improvement, with 70% more listing starting salaries or salary ranges in their job listings.
Conduct a behavioral assessment and discussion
For new hires, a behavioral assessment and follow-up discussion can help with the cultural connection process, because it helps your company understand how closely your employees align with company values and where they might need a little work or clarity to feel fully connected to the values.
Discussions can, and should, dive into why core values are essential and how they guide the company’s goals. Following a behavioral assessment, there can also be a conversation about cultural interactions and questions about communication within the organization.
This isn’t about fitting a square peg into a round hole, but rather about finding people who already fit well within the set company culture. Behavioral assessments can be a valuable tool during the hiring and onboarding process to ensure each new hire integrates well with company culture.