The average person spends 45-50 hours a week at work. This does not include commuting time which in Atlanta can add 30-45 minutes each way to your daily time away from family. Needless to say that if you are averaging 8 hours of sleep at night, you are spending more time with the people you work with than your family. This is the core of why we believe that fitting into our culture is paramount to our employees success.
We pick our spouses and we pick our friends, but we don’t really get to pick who we work with. (Unless you are the boss!) To that end, working in an environment where you are not a good fit can be a very lonely experience. I worked in such an environment and found myself often eating alone at lunch, even when traveling with others. They just weren’t interested in the same things I was interested in. They weren’t bad people, but they all fit into the culture of that firm and I didn’t.
When I transitioned into an organization where my interests were echoed by my coworkers things were immediately better. In hindsight had I known about the cultural differences I would have thought twice about accepting a position at my former firm. That was one of the loneliest years of my life. I spent 45-50 hours a week in a quiet, lonely office. This was perfectly fine for all of the other employees, but for someone like me it felt like prison.
Another benefit for cultural fit is that a person’s production is increased when they feel like they fit in to their work environment. They have a sense of pride about their work and since they don’t view their office as a prison they are more apt to take ownership of the work they do. They stay late to complete projects, they are able to be themselves and “fit in” with their colleagues.
I noticed that my propensity to finish one more thing before leaving the office grew after transitioning to a better environment. In my former firm I couldn’t wait to pack up and get out of there as fast as possible. The more an employee fits into the culture of your organization the harder they will work, it feels like they belong.
Have you noticed that employees that fit into your organizations culture thrive while others flounder? We are making a concerted effort to only hire people that fit our culture. It is better for us and better for them.