What Happens When the Best and Brightest Employees Don't Mesh with Your Corporate Culture?

Nabila Ikram
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As a company, you go through the interview process to ensure that you’re getting the best fit for the job. Nowadays, candidates are also screened for whether they’ll fit with “corporate culture”, or how your company gets things done. However, despite the efforts, sometimes a new hire can be a “wrong fit”. Or even a great hire at one point, doesn’t adapt well to changes that happen within the company.

If you have great employees who are not happy with their roles or the company culture, the first thing to do would probably be to find out why. Having one-on-one, non-confrontational meetings, or general satisfaction/exit surveys, may provide some insight in to why these employees are feeling uneasy and what suggestions they themselves provide. Once you know what may be bothering them, see if you can incorporate some of their suggestions in the workplace. To give you a head start, here are five traits that employees often seek:

1.  Appreciation

This can be as simple as a quick thank you, an email, or something more formal such as a rewards program. Appreciation allows for employees to feel welcomed, comfortable, and motivated to do more for the success of the company.

2.  Flexibility

In today’s increasingly remote and multi-factored world, flexibility is one of the biggest perks employees can receive. Telecommuting, flexible hours, on-site daycare and other options that cater to the personal needs of employees can go a long way in ensuring that quality employees stick around. Additionally, providing flexibility is another manifestation of showing appreciation for employees’ work and commitment.

3.  Opportunities for development and advancement

When job descriptions and processes change so rapidly due to constantly changing technology, most people want to stay on top of their game as a way of keeping their jobs secure and stable and be able to easily reach for other positions if they feel inclined to do so.  Therefore, offer employees ways to increase their education, receive mentorship, and move up or around to other positions in the company that suit their interests and skillset.

4.  Engagement

Part of being successful is being able to work with others. As they say, “two heads are better than one”. Therefore, encourage employee interaction and bonding through social activities, such as volunteer projects, lunches and celebrations, and other informal and formal initiatives.

5.  Trust

In many cases, the best results come about when someone is left to their own devices. This means trusting employees to do their job well and having an “open-door” culture in which they can feel comfortable enough to approach management when an issue arises. Management should trust the employees to put their all into their work, and employees should be able to trust management to provide the support they need to do a job well done.

Sometimes despite best efforts to hire the most suitable candidates, relationships don’t always last long-term. While it may be inevitable in some cases for a company and employee to part ways, if you’re in a position in which some of your best employees seem uneasy, the best step would be to figure out why and to ensure that you have a corporate culture that is open, welcoming, and conducive to productivity.


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