High performing culture: Expectations v Reality. Great post Riley Smith

High performing culture: Expectations v Reality

So I talk to a lot of people on a daily basis about company culture, whether that be what they’re trying to build, or what they want to work in. Nine times out of ten they’ll mention something about a “High Performing Culture”, but this can mean different things to different people. I thought I would share from my personal experience about my adjustment, and the expectations v reality.

I have recently relocated to Sydney and in doing-so, I have changed company’s (now with Sustainability Consulting). I’m one of those people that’s always pushed for my idea of a high-performing culture, but got a rude shock when I was thrust into one. To put it in perspective, the expectation here is triple the ‘industry standard’ (as a minimum!).

Perception v reality – wow!

A lot of things are similar – size of the team, casual dress code, a lot of banter and most of all we are all mates. However, something is different. It’s hard to put a finger on what it is, but I’ll give it my best shot:

  • We’re all driven by the success of everyone else. Both the fact that we love seeing each other succeed and our competitive side wanting to beat each other(not physically, although it’s tempting sometimes..)
  • We all enjoy what we do and who we work with, we are passionate about connecting people
  • The Director’s want us “to be the best version of who we can be” (whilst ‘cliche-ish’, it’s extremely true).
  • Motivation levels are completely dependent on the feel of the team – we (the consultants) control it
  • There’s a weird pressure to better ourselves, no idea how to explain this.

The above points can be applied to a lot more than just recruitment. The underlying component under all of this is our leadership team – our Director’s. They don’t just preach it, they do it. They graft, ask us to do nothing they wouldn’t do themselves, and above all else, are there for whatever we need, whether it be personal or professional.

This was a massive learning curve for me – I didn’t expect it to be this hard or this much of a change, but it’s turned me into a much better consultant for my clients and candidates. I can inform candidates around what they are actually in for, and qualify candidates a lot better for companies that need a very specific culture fit.

We’re currently looking to hire (yes, that’s a plug, but if you like the sounds of this you should get in touch with Ben Athey or Ed Mills). Our Director’s and Consultants keep saying the same thing – we don’t want to hire anyone who is here just to get by. We want to work with people that are ready to graft and contribute to a high-energy and high-performing team.

Lastly, this might be a good time to mention we’re going to New Zealand to ski/snowboard for last quarter’s incentive, took half a day to do sailing lessons for the one before that and also took a day out to volunteer with Guide Dogs Australia (bearing in mind I’ve only been here for 3 and a half months!).