Why the wrong cultural fit can be a disaster

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Ensuring a potential employee is the right cultural fit for your organization is a key part of many recruitment processes – but is it always the most important? HRM spoke to one award-winning employer who said it should take precedence over everything else.

“At DHL, we put the biggest emphasis on cultural fit,” says Kerri Evans, director of customer service and 2015 award winner for Women in Business.

“We’re looking for individuals who are naturally embodying the attributes of speed, passion and a can do attitude,” she added.

“Someone who might not have the right mind set or attitude but has the right technical skills can still be detrimental to the organization,” she warned.

DHL’s Canadian operation recently picked up six Stevie awards for Sales & Customer Service – the success, Evans says, is down to the company’s recent push to clearly communicate a distinct culture known as ‘Insanely Customer Centric.’

“We’ve only just introduced ‘Insanely Customer Centric’ two years ago but I can already see the difference across the entire enterprise – not just in Canada but the whole workforce,” she told HRM.
“Everyone’s working as a whole,” she revealed, adding that the clear culture gives employees direction.

Known as “Insanely Customer Centric,” the company aims to use the internal culture to not only bring employees together but to promote the external brand as well.

“Insanely Customer Centric isn’t a program, it’s a culture that we’re trying to embed with everyone,” she told HRM. “It’s in place to make the experience for each of our customers helpful enough that they in turn become an advocate for us and they’re going to be our sponsors and really rave about how great DHL is and how great a job we do.”

Hiring and retaining employees who align with this company mission is essential for the overall success of the organization, says Evans.

“We both promote and recognize the culture through training and development and we do it through recognition programs and engagement events through the year,” she explains. “There’s employee of the quarter and there’s also annual recognition programs to reward workers who go above and beyond.”

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