Clear expectations can help to define your culture, combat bias

Have you ever been asked to describe your team’s culture either when interviewing candidates or creating job postings? Words like “responsive, solution-focused, great people” might feel good to say but they are open to many interpretations, and potential misinterpretations. They are also subjective and open to bias in their application. 

To combat this, I’ve been working with teams to create clear shared expectations, based on their mission and values. By working with staff to create shared values, it not only creates a culture of accountability, but it provides you with a document that you can share with prospective employees that clearly defines your culture: 

  • Responsive = All emails should be answered within a 24hr period.  If you are unable to respond within 24hrs please send a courtesy email. A courtesy response is simply, “I received your message and will reply by ___. If you need my reply earlier, please notify me right away.”
  • Solution-focused = All staff are expected to proactively identify challenges as soon as they notice them.  And staff are expected to propose a recommendation to a challenge they identify and to bring that recommendation to a meeting with their supervisor or peers.  Staff who are closest to the problem usually have the best ideas to solve that problem!
  • Great people = We hire “heck, yes” candidates, which means that we compare each candidate to the ideal candidate that we want for the role, not to the rest of the pool. We ensure that relevant staff are involved in the interview process from across different teams. We are strategic in creating job descriptions with the appropriate skills and background for the role to attract excellent candidates from a range of backgrounds. We recruit diverse candidates through thoughtful outreach via relevant platforms, organizations, relationships and other tools to facilitate a diverse pool of applicants for each open position.

If you have questions about how to create shared expectations with your team, I encourage you to contact us below!

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