Throughout my career, I’ve worked for lots of companies. I’ve gotten fired from a few, too. Looking back, I realize the common denominator of these premature exit strategies had nothing to do with the quality of my work, and everything to do with whether or not I fit into the organization’s culture.
More than superior skills, a stellar work ethic or a stack of inside connections, an employee’s ability to fit into a company’s culture determines whether he or she will find success on the job, and in the organization.
Every company has a culture, which typically reveals itself in the way an organization expresses its values, beliefs, vision, behaviors and shared experiences. A company’s culture shows up in the ways people inside the organization interact with each other and with clients or customers. Culture sets the tone for behavior, mindset and expectations. It dictates the way “things get done” inside and outside an organization.
Which brings us to Clark Public Utilities in Vancouver, Washington. The utility promotes its ‘customer owned, customer focused’ culture every day in all kinds of ways. And the stories the utility tells about its culture gives prospective employees an authentic glimpse into what really matters to the organization.
One particular story stands out, both for its humor and humble approach. What started as a typical day for a crew of utility linemen turned into a full-on rescue mission. We teamed up with the utility to produce a video about this story, and without giving anything away, it’s a fun story to watch and it speaks volumes about the organization’s culture. You can watch this story here.
If you’re ready to start telling your company’s story through a cultural lens, here are three ways to get started:
First, identify about your organization’s core values and beliefs. Why are they important to the success of your organization?
Second, explore how your employees bring these values and beliefs to life through their work.
Third, determine the kinds of communication tools that would be most effective to the employees you want to reach.
Telling your company’s culture story is an effective way to communicate what really matters to your organization. Hiring employees that embrace the work, as well as the values, beliefs and shared experiences of your organization, is the key to long-term success, both for your employees, and your company.
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