What Does ‘Cultural Fit’ Actually Mean?

Chances are, you’ve probably heard the words ‘cultural fit’ before, especially when it comes to the professional, working environment. For many, it is a term used to reflect the likelihood that a new hire will do seemingly insignificant things such as conforming to company dress code, pitching in for lunch or going out for drinks on a Friday with the rest of the team. However, this ideology is miscommunicated, and there is so much more to the system of a ‘cultural fit.’  

What ‘Cultural Fit’ Means 

Every company should have its own culture, which is usually built up of a set of beliefs, behaviour and personality. One company’s culture may be more distinct than another, but once a company culture has been defined, ideally every action, strategy, decision and communication should support their cultural beliefs.  

Every individual employee also has their own working culture, which radiates throughout who we are, through language and communication, through daily work ethic and throughout everyday working lifestyle.  

Being a cultural fit for a company is about owning the same beliefs, behaviour and personality as your workplace. You will be a culture fit if you have the same working norms and values that the organisation holds.  

What ‘Cultural Fit’ Doesn’t Mean 

Company culture fit doesn’t mean that a company should recruit the same kind of individuals with the same backgrounds and experiences. Hiring diversely is vital for every company in today’s society, and businesses should certainly hire a variety of individuals from different genders, ages, races and religions to ensure their business stays innovative and new. Cultural fit is more to do with attitudes in the working environment, and these must align with the company’s values.  

Why Finding A ‘Cultural Fit’ Is Important 

When recruiting for individuals in your organisation, finding a cultural fit should be one of the most important features you search for. A meta-analysis by Kristof-Brown reported that employees who felt like they fit well with their organisation, co-workers and supervisors in terms of having shared values also had: 

  • Higher job satisfaction  
  • Identified more with their company 
  • Were more likely to remain with their organisation 
  • Were more committed  
  • Showed superior job performance 

Studies of cultural fit across many countries have also found that there is a relationship between cultural fit and mental and physical health. Therefore, if your job fits your personality, you’re less likely to exhibit signs of depression and anxiety.  

On the other hand of this, if you hire employees that don’t mesh well with the existing of desired company culture leads to poor work quality, decreased job satisfaction and a potentially toxic environment. This results in turnover, which has high costs for the business.  

It is therefore vital that you think clearly about company culture, especially if you recruit for your own business. It’s also important to think about the other side of this argument – it’s not all about the company. It’s also about the potential employee. If a business hires an individual who they’re not sure will be a correct cultural fit, they are wasting everybody’s time. EVERYBODY will thrive in an environment they feel comfortable in, so find the right people and let the wrong people find their perfect company elsewhere.   

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