Culture Club

I was recently reading a Glassdoor post that I thought was interesting (and telling). The post was by someone who had interviewed at this particular company (full disclosure – I do not work for the company in question. I have been known to review various companies that I am interested in for whatever reason. Don’t judge – we all have hobbies). In the post, the interviewee blasted this particular company for not getting back to them after the initial interview, something that I think we should spend some time on in the future . At the end of the post, the writer made a statement that I found interesting, if not a little true. They surmised that the positive reviews for this company were all fake, citing the frequent use of the word “culture,” stating that “No one but HR writes ‘great culture’ NO one.”

Ouch.

But is there some truth to that? I mean I say it all the time, but, well… I work in HR.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that an organization’s culture isn’t a key part of it, but are we articulating it well? Do we really know what our organization’s culture is, even? If you were to climb into an elevator going up 10 floors, would you be able to describe your organization’s culture in depth in a way that the candidate in the elevator with you could actually understand? I am talking about really understand – not “we have a culture of accountability,” or “our culture treats everyone like family.” Uh, huh. How about, “people take pride in their work here, so if you see this as a ‘job,’ you aren’t going to like it here.” Or, as was described to me about another company I worked for: “we bleed (company name) blue.” On the flip side, if you are honest, does your elevator speech sound something like: “here we don’t care about what we do, we just care about what our boss sees us doing.” Or, “so long as you don’t make any mistakes or ask too many questions, you will be fine.” If your truthful response is on the less positive side of the equation, what are you doing about it? If the answer is “nothing,” ask yourself if you aren’t part of the problem. Don’t worry, you won’t need to take an elevator ride to come to the answer. You’ll know before you push the down button.

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