It is human nature to be inclined towards people who have similar traits like us, and that holds true at workplace as well. However, you will agree that good chemistry alone does not sustain a working relationship.
What does? Good performance and the Depth of understanding of the role/ position.
And the best way to hire someone who’ll perform well is to:
· Firstly, know the job well along with the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the job and
· Secondly, determine who has those qualities without focusing on whether the individual is like you or different.
When leaders in an organization hire people who are similar to them in their thoughts and approach, in their understanding and exposure and are ‘clones’ of themselves, they usually feel that they have hired the best fit. This could largely be because of their experience in such hires who possess attributes that they feel have been effective for their organization and blend well ‘culturally’. The problem with this is the person they like best might not really be the best person for that job.
On one hand it is easy to believe that more number of people you hire who relate with your philosophy, the more successful the company will be. There will be fewer arguments and better communication and the interaction will be as per the culture established. However, defining an ‘organizational culture’ is not that easy and like mindedness cannot be the single criteria for establishing the same. The organization might be missing out on a number of opportunities by hiring ‘clones’, because for the sake of conformity, the leaders might be rejecting people with skills and knowledge who can in reality complement and supplement the company’s growth.
And let us not forget, too much ‘likeness’ can also lead to corporate ‘inbreeding’. The inevitable result being that all members think alike, leaving no scope to challenge status quo. The group shall be content in settling for agreements whereas cognitive dissonance conceivably produces more options and perspectives- vital in the ever changing dynamic scene of business. Therefore, with all this uniformity and conformity, there shall exist no scope for innovation or creativity or even inclusiveness? ‘Design thinking’, the new mantra for organizational success will never see the light of the day in an organizational environ like this.
For an organization to be truly progressive, for its organizational culture to be truly inclusive, the organization needs to think ‘Diversity’- not just in gender, race, religion, sexual/ spiritual orientation but mainly in terms of skills, knowledge, experience, attitude and backgrounds of their workforce. This I feel is of utmost importance today- with large emphasis on working from home and no geographical boundaries anymore, hiring needs to be done purely basis the skillset and not basis similar mindset.
One must acknowledge that everyone brings to the table their unique skills and knowledge. Differences can cause people to think, act and feel in newer ways. I firmly believe in encouraging divergent views within a team. It usually results in great discussions and has invariably helped me in the past solve many issues and bring in radical changes to organizational development and employee experience.
A smart and an informed leader/ manager should also not be surrounded with ‘pleasers’. Differing opinions spark new thoughts though the ultimate goal remains the same for all. Innovation, employee morale and productivity will always be on an upward trajectory where ‘diversity’ exists in a collaborative manner.
Inevitably do not hire ‘Clones’ for culture-fit…birds of a feather are no longer required to flock together. Encourage hiring for ‘Innovation’ and ‘Collaboration’…drive ‘Diversity’ and ‘Inclusiveness’ in your organizational culture to truly making it meaningful.
Guest Author: Tanushri Nair
HR Brand Evangelist
SAGE Publications India
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