“Organisational Fit” can often be confused with “cultural fit” and the practice of hiring the kind of employees whose personalities fit the mould of your company. We’ve written in the past about how this approach can actually be damaging to businesses
, and ultimately lead to less diverse teams.
So, how does Organisational Fit differ? And what is its link to employee engagement?
Put simply, Organisational Fit is about aligning the values of the company and its employees. It leaves room for a diverse workforce with contrasting backgrounds and interests, while ensuring that everyone has bought into the mission of the organisation.
And the effects are pretty great too. Research by Cable and Judge
(1996) showed that getting Organisational Fit right both increases employee job satisfaction and decreases turnover intention.
Below, we’ll highlight a handful of ways in which you can encourage strong Organisational Fit throughout your team.
Start from day zero
According to Person-Environment Fit Theory (developed by French, Caplan & Harrison in the 1980s) people naturally gravitate towards employers whose values reflect their own.
Before applying for a job, most people will ask themselves if the organisation is a good fit for the things they find important in life, from political leanings to work ethos. Ensure your organisation’s vision and missions are clearly defined on your website – and displayed prominently at recruitment events – to help candidates identify the values that they share.
If you want to attract top talent, you need to create an harmonious work environment where the values are clear and compatible with employees’ personal moral compasses. Which leads us to…
Participate in Corporate Social Responsibility schemes
A great way to advertise your organisation’s morals, and promote them throughout your workforce, is to live them through a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme. This can be as simple as partnering with a local charity whose cause you believe in, or as extensive as developing and investing in an internal project that works towards a socially beneficial goal.
Some businesses invest so extensively in CSR activities that their ethical beliefs become synonymous with their brand. Take Ben & Jerry’s, who have participated in a number of initiatives
over the years, starting in 1988 with 1% for Peace – a scheme with the goal of redirecting 1% of the US defence budget to peace-promoting projects.
When employees have the opportunity to live their personal beliefs in their daily work, alongside colleagues who share those values, it soon builds a healthy culture. According to research in 2011 by Boon & Hartog
, this can translate to increased levels of trust and a shared sense of corporate community.
Promote employee wellbeing
There’s no better way to show your employees’ that you care about your values, than to show them that you also care about their wellbeing. What’s more, an employer focus on wellbeing has added benefit of boosting productivity and reducing absenteeism
Wellbeing initiatives can take many forms, and address both physical and mental health issues. The physical side of things can be easier to get right – gym perks, medical cover and healthy eating options are tried and tested initiatives – but a good mental health policy is a little more nuanced.
One household name that’s doing it right is adidas. The German sportswear brand have launched Wellness International
, a programme that was ”born out of the commitment to improve the health and wellbeing of personnel at adidas.”
They offer emotional and mental health clinics to all employees, as well as having onsite coaches who are trained in cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), one of the most effective types of mental health treatment. This not only gives employees a safe space to seek assistance, but communicates that their employer really cares.
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