(2 minute read)

Creating and Curating Culture in Teams

Is your team culture fixed or flexible?

Most managers would suggest that they have quite fixed operational guidelines and that company policies and procedures should be clear and unambiguous.

So, how may this influence or affect the process of talent acquisition for your team or business?

While recruiting new team members, managers and recruiters typically apply ‘filters’ to the candidate selection process. While many of these filters are necessary to help sort the candidates, there may be some unconscious bias influencing the decision-making process. One question that sits in the mind of the manager or recruiter is, “Will this candidate be a good cultural fit for the team/business?”

If a business believes it has achieved the utopia of team balance, there may be some validity in a highly discriminatory selection process aimed at replicating and mirroring existing team members. However, as most businesses are yet to achieve such a utopian balance, they should consider adjusting their lens!

One of our many biased decision-making processes is to identify candidates who will fit the existing culture, someone like us. The detriment of this bias is that it can lead to a laziness in the recruitment process and reinforces the status quo – hardly the approach of a business wishing to grow and develop.

 This doesn’t suggest you should strive to attract all the quirky characters looking to join your team or business, but to open your eyes to potential candidates who may previously have been overlooked due to some personal or professional bias, conscious or unconscious.

As an organisation, Facebook identified the existence of unconscious bias within it’s recruitment and career progression processes. As a result, all management and leadership staff complete a ground-breaking course, Managing Bias, which Facebook have made available for free to any interested individuals, leaders or managers.   

In addition to minimising our bias in the attraction and retention of talent, leaders and managers could do well to rethink their definition of culture. Corporate and team culture is the outcome of the default behaviours, preferences, values, priorities and decisions made by individuals and groups within the organisation.

If the existing team culture is not where you’d like it to be, take stock of the situation and gather the tribes together to identify what your utopian culture would look like and how it would feel to be a part of it.

As a final note of warning to any leaders or managers considering this revised approach to your culture review, be careful of pre-existing bias and be welcoming of the input and ideas of all team members.

To the culture vultures out there, onwards and upwards!

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