If I Were Running A Company…Culture/Community

Written by Tracy

I was not there at #SHRM15, but there was a lot of talk about workplace culture. Then, I read from Sharlyn Lauby about Corporate Culture and Communities with Michael Lee Stallard about the “Connection Culture.” I agree with Michael’s premise that individuals need to be open and there’s a sense of power when you connect someone and has an impact for your business. That is why over 3/4 of job seekers say company culture is important. Here’s my question: are people mixing up culture and community?

Reading Sharlyn’s article made me revisit the definition of both culture and community (in a group setting, via Google):

  • Culture: the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group.
  • Community: a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

Although culture might be a popular term, it also made me realize the term “culture” and “big data” are code for “programmed.” When I think of culture, I think of control, in various forms. In a culture, you’re telling employees and perspective employees how to do something in a certain way and a certain behavior to doing it. I know Michael meant well with “Connection Culture,” but it’s still telling them to connect instead guide or find people to engage with. I don’t want a culture to tell me to do something; I want to figure what’s the best course, for myself, to help my business. That’s why I never understood “cultural fit.” To me, it sounds like companies are forcing candidates to do something that appeases them. This is why culture is short for “cult.”

I feel companies use “culture” for psychological reasons for job seekers because they tell you about the job and what they telling to expect in the company. It’s basically similar to timeshares you see in infomercials; you are intrigued by the looks of it, but when you see it in real-life, you are either overwhelmed or underwhelmed by it. Why “culture” is effective is the messaging and telling certain job seekers they want to hear, which then they applied for your job. This is why certain demographics (race gender, religion, etc.) are being rejected. They might be qualified, but they don’t have the knowledge of

This is why I like the term, “Corporate Community.” Everyone has shared goals, but each have different points of view of reaching that goal. Your company would want different perspectives and want to share that to their respective networks. A community won’t pressure you to do something that you’re uncomfortable with but are aware of what’s going on. If I were do a “recruiting marketing” pitch, I would use “community” a lot to drive the fact that everyone and anyone can collaborate and that the company is not judging you except performance and results.

Do not dismiss that 76 percent of job seekers are looking for something to fit in. They’re looking for somebody to fit in. I don’t like that. I don’t want job seekers to fit in; I want them to be welcoming and have something the company is not seeing. While “culture” is one mindset, a “community” is one goal with various different paths, to choose from, leading to that goal. That’s what I want in my company.

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