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Workplace Culture and Talent Management: Best Practices

Culture & mindset development 02nd June 2019

About the speaker

Caroline is Director of Culture and Engagement at Rubica. Her work sees her supporting leaders to create organisational understanding, belief and the behavioural shifts that are necessary for change to happen and last so it transforms a business. Learn more about Caroline.

Video transcript

00.09     How culture influences talent attraction and retention

Culture influences the attraction and retention of an organisation, because it is essentially how we get work done together. It therefore influences people’s willingness to work at an organisation as much as what that organisation does and why they do it.

So, culture influences why people join, whether they can thrive in that organisation and whether they choose to stay.

00.35     How to see if your culture is attracting and retaining talent

To really understand a company’s culture and whether it is helping or hindering the talent that you want to have in the organisation, first we need to go deep. That means going beneath the surface where behaviours are obvious.

So, the temptation is to look at the behaviours we can see and try and control those if we can. But actually, we need to go under the surface to the beliefs that drive those behaviours. So, what assumptions do we need to address? And what assumptions do we need to enhance?, to help create the behaviour patterns in the organisation that are most aligned with our strategy and most likely to drive growth and best performance.

Section 2: Building a culture that attracts and retains talent

00.08     Using culture to support your talent strategy

When you understand your culture you can use it to better support and attract the people that you want to have in your organisation. You can use it to make choices essentially.

So, understanding your culture allows you to choose where you focus effort, what you’ll prioritise in terms of behaviours you’ll tolerate and what behaviours you won’t tolerate. And also choosing the people in the first place. It is also instrumental in how you design your people processes.

So, everything from how you market the organisation to potential employees, all the way through to how you support people when leaving the organisation in the hope that they may come back one day and tell people good news stories about the experience they’ve had.

That whole journey should be informed by what you understand to be your current culture but more importantly the culture you want to try and create.

01.05     Culture and people processes

Culture also influences the design of your people processes. Everything from how you market your organisation to potential future recruits, all the way through to how you support people to exit the business in a positive way.

This is important, not only because your processes need to reflect your current culture and feel a-tuned, and in line, and in sync with what people expect, but also because if you are bringing new people in you can use that process to influence the future culture and any changes you want to make to the culture in order to be as sustainable organisation as possible.

01.45     How to shift an existing culture to support your talent strategy

If your culture is well established, but you’ve made a choice that you want to shift that culture in order to better support your strategy for example, there are a number of ways you can do that.

You may choose to replace the people that work there, so bring in new people and exit others in order to change the culture.

You may choose to transform the people who already work in the organisation – change their behaviours or change their beliefs.

Or you may choose to do a blend of both, and the reality is its that blend of both that is most likely the scenario that needs to happen.

02.22     What to be aware of when changing a culture

Shifting a culture is complex. And there are some common pitfalls that people can encounter.

One of the most common is that we fail to consider the humanness of people in the organisation and the underlying assumptions that drive their actual behaviours.

For example, we may decide that we want an innovative culture and one that is fast paced and full of agile thinkers. But actually, we fail to understand that for some people taking part in recruitment for example, or the interview process or in onboarding new people they may have an assumption that creative people are very hard to manage, or that slow and steady wins the race. That can filter and impact on the effectiveness of changing the culture by introducing people with different skill sets and different beliefs and behaviours.

Section 3: Successful cultures that attract and retain talent

00.07     What a successful workplace culture looks like

So if an organisation is using culture to successfully attract and retain talent the sorts of things that we’d see is conscious talking about the culture; a strong awareness about what is important in that culture; and a strong acknowledgement that choices are being made in the context of that culture.

We’d also see people paying attention to their own beliefs and assumptions and putting effort into mitigating those or at least talking about them so they know that they are happening and other people know that they are happening.

You’d see an organisation adapting to new joiners who perhaps have different from normal beliefs and behaviours, with full awareness that they are introducing people to change the culture and therefore need to flex and morph around that person rather than just adapt that person’s behaviour to what is existing already.

01.10     Advice

The one piece of advice that I would give anyone who is thinking about culture in the context of attracting and retaining talent is authenticity. So, do the various layers of your culture – the things that make up your culture all line up together? Do your beliefs, the behaviours that exist in the organisation and the things that you say are important to you both internally and externally have a consistency and alignment about them.

People can smell in-authenticity a mile off, and whilst you might recruit people that are right for your business, you certainly won’t get them to stay.



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