Matching culture well , between contractors and the company they work for is critical. Your project outcome depends on it.
In any employment situation, cultural fit is critical. We often focus on this fact when hiring a permanent employee, but the reality is that work culture matters in even the shortest of temporary assignments.
First of all, what does “cultural fit” mean? Cultural fit is a combination of motivators, work method, values, and personality. It is a connection between the employee and employer and work environment which contributes heavily to being happy and successful in any position.
Why does it matter? It matters because we are human – we want to thrive and make a difference. We want work to be satisfying and yes, make us look forward to doing it.
How we all approach these human goals is unique to our motivators, work methods, values and personality.
Let’s see some examples:
Company A is made up of hard driving, win at all costs, and the more work hours the better sort of place. Employees are recognized and rewarded for the inroads they make to beat the other guy, internally and externally. Every month/quarter/year is a chase for the big sale or the big innovation. Individual accomplishment and work environment is important to employer and employees alike.
Motivators – The Win individually first, then The Win for the team
Work Methods – Long and hard. Fast and furious.
Values – Recognition as an individual first, then as a team member
Personality – Alpha and confident, thrive on pressure
Company B is made up of hard driving, win at all costs, and work hours are many but not stressed sort of place. Employees are recognized and rewarded for the inroads they make to beat the other guy – but mostly externally. Every month/quarter/year is a chase for the big sale or the big innovation. Collaborative accomplishment and work environment is important to employer and employee alike. Individual accomplishments are also highly sought.
Motivators – The Win for the team
Work Methods – Collaborative/Individual hybrid
Values – Team relationship is a valuable part of the work process
Personality – Confident and has a strong desire for input and feedback.
Company C is a hyper-flexible and intellectually scrappy start up. It is risky in nature because of its life stage. Employees work within and across departments due to necessity and this makes for an extremely collaborative environment. Any losses or missteps are very visible, but so are the wins. High satisfaction is realized because an employee makes a visible difference directly each month/quarter/year.
Motivators – Making a positive difference every day will achieve The Win
Work Methods – Very team collaboration oriented. Very fast and nimble.
Values – Recognition for team wins, individual contribution is secondary. Work relationships very important
Personality – Entrepreneurial, enjoys the risk/reward ratio
Now for some food for thought:
- Choose the example which most closely matches your current organization.
- Now circle back to the short to mid-term staffing requirement.
- Place a technically strong, resume validated candidate into a company that conflicts with the cultural definitions of the human represented in said resume.
- Will the result be optimal for either side of the placement?
The outcome is assured to be conflicted at best. Co-workers, Managers, and the Contractor will struggle to understand how to do business well. Communication within each of these 3 scenarios is quite different. Unspoken expectations are quite different. How challenges and successes are handles and communicated are quite different.
All of these are affect optimal success because… employers and contractors are Human.
Let us align motivators, work methods, values, and personality and watch your contracting program thrive.
Sheri Tate is the Director of Marketing at Amick Brown