The Culture Interview


The Culture Interview - 2020 - Wattsnext Group

My daughter is in her final 100 days of high school and, like many of her peers she is trying to figure out the next step in her life.

She recently travelled to Far North Queensland to check out a University she is considering attending to understand if this was a place she could spend the next four years of her academic career.  What struck me was the natural way she ‘interviewed’ the University; from the Head of the School she was interested in to the RA’s that supported the campus dorms.  Essentially what she was seeking out was the ‘culture’ of the campus and whether this would fit in with her own personal values and future goals.

Many employers and countless HR professionals espouse the need for effective workplace cultures but do businesses ever think about ‘interviewing’ themselves to understand whether the culture that is currently present in their business fits in with their vision, mission and values and their greater business goals?

Do business even understand what an effective workplace culture means and what a difference this can make to their bottom line?

Culture is the character and personality of your business; it is what makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.

Why is workplace culture important?

  • It attracts talent; a strong, positive, clearly defined and well-communicated culture attracts the ‘right’ fit and talent.
  • It drives engagement and retention; culture generates a work environment that either strengthens or weakens employee engagement and retention.
  • It impacts happiness and satisfaction; research shows that employee happiness and satisfaction is linked to a strong workplace culture (Source: Deloitte).
  • It affects performance; businesses with stronger cultures outperform their competitors in financial performance and are generally more successful.

So how do you understand your what your culture truly feels like?  You interview your business by asking yourself and your team some key questions!

  • How would you describe the culture currently?
  • What does an awesome culture look like to you?
  • Are the strategies of the business clearly communicated to the team?
  • Do you feel you have the support or resources you need to perform in your role?
  • How is your performance currently benchmarked?
  • Do you meet regularly with your Manager to talk through goals and accountabilities?

These questions will quickly help you to understand where your culture is currently sitting and any areas that might need improvement, particularly around engagement, strategy and communication, to ensure that your business character is in line with your business goals.

As a Millennial, my daughter will enter the work force wanting a culture that meets her personal values and future goals, just like the University she will attend.  When her time comes to enter the workforce, she and her colleagues will interview your ‘culture’ just as much as you will interview them for a spot on your team.

So it is time you ‘interviewed’ your culture to ensure that it is on track?


Try reading Should the recruitment process start with reference checks??

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Wattsnext Group is a compilation of ideas and expertise from the entire team, past and present with a few added gems from guest authors from time to time. With this collaborative approach, you'll get a broader perspective and high-level of expertise across the HR landscape


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