Growing a workplace culture of gratitude doesn’t suddenly happen at employee orientation. Actually, the process begins much earlier!
When you specifically seek employees who will embrace and sustain your company’s appreciation culture, you actively plant seeds that blossom down the road.
Hiring is not just about finding people with the skills to match a job description. A sustainable culture of gratitude — and the happy, motivated and productive workforce it supports — begins during the evaluation and interview process so you hire right from the start.
Read on for tips on how to hire for a culture of gratitude.
Hire Smart & Find A Cultural Fit
Roger W. Ferguson, present and CEO of TIAA-CREF Financial Services, reflected recently in a LinkedIn post how a bad hiring decision early in his career taught him a crucial lesson about “cultural fit.”
Ferguson hired the new employee based on strong skills, technical prowess and an impressive educational background. But on the job, another side of the employee emerged. He alienated coworkers, stirred up problems and caused dissension.
“I learned that cultural fit is an essential consideration in hiring,” Ferguson writes, “and that you have to spend as much time assessing a candidate’s ‘soft skills,’ such as communication, personality and empathy, as his or her ‘hard skills’ and credentials.”
The best person for a job is equally strong in “soft” and “hard” skills, Ferguson writes, “but I’d choose cultural fit over credentials any day.”
Following that challenge, Ferguson started asking different kinds of questions in interviews. He talked about the company’s mission, values and commitment to diversity and inclusion.
It’s important to translate company values into behaviors by sharing real-life examples of “values in action,” writes Will Stanley, head of global recruiting for Glassdoor, in Entrepreneur article, “How to Hire People Who Fit a Company’s Culture.”
Your company and potential employees need to take turns sharing values.
In interviews and in public forums like social media, provide concrete examples of how your company lives its values. Invite current employees to share their experiences.
Instead of asking applicants general questions about values, ask about their behaviors. Behavior-focused questions will solicit insights about how they’ve handled situations in the past, Stanley says.
Put the Focus on Learned Gratitude
In Psychology Today article “5 Gratitude Questions to Get to Know Yourself Better,” Dr. Alice Boyes offers suggestions that are easily adapted for the workplace interview.
For example, ask about positive values an applicant has learned from a previous boss or coworkers, or ask the interviewee to describe a time they felt nurtured in their work and career.
To find employees who will enjoy and help sustain a culture of gratitude, focus on how they’ve learned their style of gratitude. What is their personal philosophy of appreciation, sharing and communication? How did they arrive at it?
When you focus on how and why someone acts and communicates a certain way, there are no right or wrong answers. Described behaviors and personal history provide real insight into how a person interacts with others and expects to be treated.
Also — according to Stanley — employees are brand ambassadors and affect the employer’s brand. Not taking advantage of the interviewing process is a huge missed opportunity.
“Hiring workers who contribute positively to the company’s culture helps foster a great work environment,” Stanley writes.
For more great tips and insights into building a vibrant culture of workplace gratitude, engagement and appreciation, be sure to download our free downloadable eBook, Transform Your Workplace with Gratitude today!
About gThankYou, LLC
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