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Have you ever had a job where you just felt like you didn’t belong? Have you ever had a team member that clearly was not a fit for the team? Have you ever hired someone and quickly learned that they were not a fit for the organization? I know I have experienced more than one of these situations and it’s likely that the majority of you have experienced one of these situations too. By understanding the 4 P’s of cultural fit, you can ask the right questions to ensure this doesn’t happen to you or your team again.
The 4 P’s of Cultural Fit include: Pace, Process, Philosophy and Play.
- Pace is the speed at which a group or team operates. For example, agencies are stereotyped as “fast paced” and larger companies are “slow paced”. Of course, this isn’t always the case but you want to ask the right questions to determine what that pace is. You want todetermine how many projects at a time can one person handle given the timelines associated with those projects. As the hiring manager, you need to be honest with what that looks like for your company.
- Process is how a group makes decisions in the course of doing work. Typically, entry-level team members are told what to do and they operate based on what a manager as asked them to do. As someone gains more experience, they usually have the opportunity to make bigger decisions and set the course for their own projects. Understanding where someone fits in this spectrum and how a manager typically manages their team is very important for the process piece of cultural fit.
- Philosophy is how one approaches opportunities and challenges in the course of doing business. This is where you need to be honest about yourself and the team for which you are or will be working. Are you and/or they pragmatic or idealistic? I know I am more of a pragmatist and that would drive people who are idealistic crazy and vice versa. I also tend to work for organizations that are more pragmatic.
- Play is about teambuilding and bonding and the work that gets done outside of the business day. Some teams work later hours, some are friends and go out after work, while others go home as soon as the workday is over and they don’t see each other until the next workday. This is a very important piece of culture because people often feel left out andbehind on projects when they don’t participate in the after work company sponsored or non sponsored events. This can also be a little bit trickier to determine as a hiring manager since these are not work related questions. Paying close attention to activities, volunteering, etc. included on a resume can lend some insight to someone’s play.
When companies get clear on their culture and hire according to their culture, companies will grow stronger. When people know the right questions to ask a company to determine their cultural fit, they are setting themselves up for future success in their careers. When companies and potential employees understand culture, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
For more information on the 4 P’s of Cultural Fit, please contact us.