How to create a positive company culture in a virtual world of work

by Lloyd Wahed.
On my podcast ‘Searching for Mana’ I’ve asked a number of thought-leaders about their view on the secret to creating a positive company culture. This conversation feels particularly relevant now that businesses face having to refine and nurture their culture and community in an online capacity.

 
My guest responses to this question include the importance of a common passion and “engaging smart, friendly people” according to Julian Sawyer co-founder of Starling Bank whilst Joe Parkin, head of Digital Channels at BlackRock says the key is a sense of purpose. Anna Brailsford CEO of Code First: Girls highlights the importance of gender equality when it comes to building strong company culture sharing the impact of “carving out spaces for women to feel that they can be empowered”.

 
I believe that all of the above applies, and that smart hiring choices is the starting point in allowing a common passion and a sense of purpose to filter through businesses. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted entrepreneurs to look at their team’s resilience and creativity and whilst navigating such an unpredictable transition period in the post-crisis reality, this feels more important for entrepreneurs than ever before.

 
As a society driven by growth metrics such as KPIs or OKRs, leaders are now challenged to rethink how they measure a team’s performance and refocus to a more human-centric approach. Consider the following question: Am I hiring the right people in my business?

 
Hiring employees that aren’t culturally aligned to the organisation will risk the employee’s early exit and a high employee turnover. One industry-based study in 2014 from Oxford Economics reveals that just one bad hire can cost a company £30,000. In addition to replacement fees, there are also hidden costs such as productivity loss (O’Connell & Kung, 2007), where the damage to productivity caused by the inexperience of new employees is the greatest contributor to the overall costs of turnover (Hinkin & Tracey, 2000).

 
Hiring smart will inevitably impact employee relationships within a team with latest research showing that employees who have friendly relationships at work are happier, more engaged and less likely to look for new jobs (Schinoff, Ashforth & Corley, 2019). Higher job satisfaction also leads to increased productivity and performance.

 

 

With this in mind, these are 5 tips on hiring smart:

 

1. A strong job description
You’ll ultimately end up saving time going through unqualified candidates if you pull together thorough and considered job requirements that are really informative for candidates.

2. Engage the team manager from the very beginning of the process
By ensuring that the manager reviews applicants from the start, you’re trusting that they will know who will be the best match for the team.

3. Introduce behavioural assessments (PPA)
To understand how candidates work and identify areas for development.

4. Use referral schemes
Incentivised recommendations from current employees act as a layer of cultural-fit assessment.

5. Support your search with dedicated head-hunters
who can unearth passive candidates who are not visible on job boards.

 

About the Author

London-born tech entrepreneur Lloyd Wahed has 15 years of expertise includes founding and leading award winning, Global and best in the market head hunting firms. Over the last several years Lloyd has founded two search firms and has successfully helped scale a number of unicorn technology scale-ups. Lloyd is also the host of Searching For Mana podcast – interviewing some of the leading and influential men and women building the future in tech innovation and finance.

Website: https://manasearch.co.uk/
Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/gb/podcast/searching-for-mana-with-lloyd-wahed/id1491460738