A few days ago, Myfm were in discussions with one of our most important clients concerning our future relationship. Whilst it was clear that they valued our dependability of service and strong commercial expertise, what was mentioned as a factor that singled us out from the competition is how intimately we understood the inner workings of the client’s company; their needs, their procedures, and how our associates were able to easily adapt to the various processes and idiosyncrasies unique to their business. In short, we understood the “culture fit”.
But what is the culture fit? And why do businesses consider it so important?
A Company’s “culture” can be a particularly difficult concept to define, it does not fit easily into any understanding of either the technical acumen or “soft skills” that all employers and HR departments consider, but it can still be quantified and objectively assessed.
Every company, and particularly large ones, has a unique modus operandi build on an exceptional set of interactions between management structure, the communications channels between employees, and company values. If for instance, you had a company where management believed in creativity, open collaboration and free channels of communication between departments, it would be a mistake to take on employees and line-managers who believed in an introverted, compartmentalised working culture.
With larger service providers, the company culture becomes intrinsically tied to the kind of service that the clients expect, which is why the “culture fit” goes from being an HR issue to a performance issue. In areas such as contract delivery, clients prefer the familiarity that comes from a uniform company culture and “method” of doing business.
Crucially, such an understanding of cultural norms in a given workplace allow for more stable and intimate working relationships to be formed between service provider and client.
When working in business to business relationships, the significance of cultural cohesion cannot be understated. The ability to fit, neatly placed into your client’s operational structure, almost as if you were part of the firm yourself, is invaluable to the long-term stability of any business relationship.