How do you answer the killer question?

September 22, 2023

How do you answer the killer question?

First of all, what is your culture like? Does your organization even have one? Whether you are a 5-person tech company or an ice cream shop that only opens in the summer, you have a company culture. However, there are several types of cultures, and in recent years, approaches that were impossible to consider 10 years ago have emerged. Need an example you can relate?

The work from home reality. After running my own digital marketing company (before Tedy) and working with over 500 companies (small, medium, and very large), many would say one thing: "It's good to have people working from home, but do they really work?" Today, saying something like that would be kicking the messenger directly into the pit (300 movie reference). If you didn't know, people tend to work more when they're at home. But do they work better? That will be discussed in another article, I promise!

Corporate culture is a hot topic, so much so that it's a "trending" search on Google. Employers and employees alike are wondering what it is, and more and more know.

Get ready, because if you haven't already, your next job cadidate will ask you, "What's your corporate culture like? "

Based on my personal experience, 90% of managers, CHRPs or recruiters will have trouble answering this question, or will fall into the trap of the generic answer. The classic "we're a big family", or "we have horizontal leadership" won't set you apart from your competitor.

It's a bit like saying in an interview that your biggest flaw is that you're a perfectionist (total cynicism here). So, how do you answer this famous question? If you don't know, it's a problem. A big one. Here's one way to solve it. Interviews today are a two-way street, with good candidates challenging you on your vision, approach and way of doing things. It's no longer just the employer who chooses, the candidate chooses you just as much. It's legitimate. But what do we do?

It's an almost religious exercise, inspired by your beliefs, your identity and your values, and it involves your conditions, your benefits, your operations, your objectives (read "purpose"), but also what I call the "miracle". The "miracle" is your most distinctive and disruptive element when it comes to changing the paradigm. You can set yourself the goal of changing the world, but saying so is worthless. You have to try to do it in a concrete, serious, tangible way. Not tomorrow, now.

Here are a few examples.

It's fair to say that as an organization, we value our employees personal timeand care about them. Our "miracle"? 4-day work week or unlimited vacations.

We are a company that values innovation and risk-taking. The "miracle"? We support 5 personal projects a year in intrapreneurial mode, with financial resources and time allocated, and we are a company committed to connecting our teams with nature.

Our "miracle"? An unlimited allowance for outdoor activities trough Tedy (access to parks, equipment, expeditions, etc.).

Or take the example of my famous dairy bar, which offers the "miracle" of free ice cream for employees' friends and family. At 16, it's an incredible miracle.

Exaggerated? Think again, these are all real-life examples. In my experience, when it comes to building the foundations of a winning corporate culture, we tend to be very good at telling the story of who we are, and less good at telling the story of what we do. In short, if you start with the end in mind, it will make all the other aspects of your culture much more meaningful and valuable.

Pablo Stevenson,

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