High Performing Cultures – Not All Workers Want the Same Thing

Identical men in business suits march in line with the comment, "Emphasize our unique differences; pass it down."

Thank goodness no parade of employees looks as uniform and homogeneous as this line-up of cartoon workers!

The best leaders have come to appreciate the value of diversity. They seek employees who come from different backgrounds, who bring a variety of work experience and skills, and who contribute their diverse perspectives as they work together to solve important business problems. Diversity does not weaken organizations; it enriches them.

There are however, some values that you want to find in all your employees. These are the underpinning corporate values that help define and support your organizational culture. However you choose to define what it is that your organization cares most about, what your purpose is, and how you want to conduct business, you want a certain “sameness” or uniformity in your organizational culture. If customer service is your linchpin, you want each and every employee to feel (and act upon) the same binding commitment to satisfying your customers. The diversity can be revealed in the how–the ways they find to achieve the same goal of superior and unsurpassed customer service.

As you seek to build your corporate culture, keep in mind a very important aspect of it…your culture can become a competitive advantage as your compete to attract, engage and retain top talent. The better you can articulate what it is truly like to work at your company (not just what you espouse on your website), the better you will be able to attract and retain employees that actually fit. And when you have a distinctive corporate culture, you can better target candidates in the talent pool that will easily and enthusiastically become part of your success.

Some say there are various different types of employees; from those for who work is simply a way to earn a living to those who look to work as a way to make a difference in others’ lives. If you know which suits your culture best and knowing what your culture offers, you can figure out how best to represent your company. If, for instance, you have created a culture that values teamwork above all else, you will want to hire and keep employees who look at a job as an opportunity to be a contributing member of a high performing team. You should then look to job candidates who seek a company where collaboration is appreciated and facilitated, where employees enjoy one another, where teams provide the structure and stability of the workforce and where there is ample opportunity to use one’s strengths for the benefit of the overall enterprise.

Not all workers want the same thing. Nor do all companies have the same culture. The magic is in matching the workers to the unique company culture. Then all are winners.

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