Learning & Development

The Importance of Finding the Right Fit

Elon Musk’s recent ultimatum to Twitter staff to be prepared to accept “long hours at high intensity” or leave the company illustrates the importance some organizations place on company culture. While “long hours at high intensity” may sound like simply telling staff to work harder, it also says something about culture.

And while the mass exodus of Twitter employees in response to that ultimatum makes it seem like Musk’s strategy backfired, it may be that the controversial billionaire is simply trying to ensure his new company is filled with employees who are a good fit for the type of company he intends to run.

Company Culture: Not a Top-Down Initiative

Company culture is notoriously difficult to direct because culture is not driven exclusively from the top but rather created and nurtured by all members of the team. Company leaders like Musk and others may wish to mandate culture from the top down, but that can be hard to do and may meet with stiff resistance. The Twitter exodus is an excellent example.

Musk’s dramatic ultimatum may be lacking in compassion and tact, but it’s not necessarily out of step with the importance many business leaders place on cultural fit.

Finding the Right Fit

In an article for Entrepreneur, Roman Kumar Vyas writes, “While hard skills can be corrected or enhanced over time, a potential employee’s values are usually immutable.”

He adds that hiring an employee whose inner values aren’t aligned with the desired company values can result in:

  • Wasted time and energy spent on training.
  • Salary losses related to a bad hire. Vyas says that “our HR department calculated that the losses are six monthly salaries of a bad hire plus indirect costs of the organization’s inefficiency.”
  • Additional efforts to find a better employee to replace the bad hire.

“Setting your company’s core values helps avoid these outcomes, systematize the qualities that you need your staff to have and better understand what workforce should be fired,” Vyas adds.

Of course, firing staff who don’t fit the company culture isn’t the ideal solution, so companies should instead be proactive and take steps to ensure that finding employees with the right cultural fit is a key aspect of the recruitment process.

Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.

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