Guest contributor: Pauline James

This is a two-part article; jump back to part one.

Company Culture thriving - A variety of people put their hands into a team huddle, ready to work.

Selecting employees that fill gaps rather than stereotypes.

Being focussed on your purpose will help you hire the people you need as opposed to those most likely to be your new best friend. It is all too easy to fall into the trap of hiring those most similar to us. After all, what’s not to like?

If we want to grow our business, find the gaps, plug the holes and find new and better ways of delivering products or service, we need to hire people who are different from us to develop a thriving company culture. Research is continuing to show that diverse teams outperform more homogenous ones. The smaller the team, I would suggest, the more important this principle is.

You really do not need another ‘you’ on the team, planning their own entrepreneurial adventure. What you do need are employees who are as excited about your purpose as you are and who bring their unique perspective, skills and abilities to help you.

Company culture thriving in an atrium space

‘Culture’? Isn’t that fluff for large companies with big pocket books?

In my view, the largest barriers to keeping an organization agile are: 1) Those who built a product or process can be the most attached to status quo, 2) Traditional chain of command approach to leading, 3) The fear of saying, being, or doing something wrong.

While your purpose drives ‘what’ your team is working on, it is your thriving company culture that will drive ‘how’. It will take on its own shape, whether you actively invest in creating it or not. With this, suggest you are best to consciously and thoughtfully create the culture you desire.

The barriers identified above can be overcome with a great culture. What culture will you foster to promote your employees’ and organization’s growth & resilience?  How do you want your team to describe their day-to-day experience at work?

When you developed your business plan, you likely answered important questions related to, ‘What problem does my business solve?’, ‘Who are our customers?’, ‘How is our offer different from our competitors?’ Suggest that it is just as important to ask how you will ensure you and your team are:

  • Connected to your company’s purpose and customers’ expectations?
  • Consistently listening and adapting to your customers’ demands?
  • Invested in remaining current on innovations related your business?
  • Comfortable sharing diverse ideas and perspectives?

With this investment, everyone in your organization can have a clear line of sight to your purpose, your customers and contribute the growth and longevity of your organization.

Check out part one of this article.


More articles like this:

Importance of Having a Clear Purpose & Culture from Day One, Employee One – Part One

Attracting & Retaining Talent as a Startup – Part One

Attracting & Retaining Talent as a Startup – Part Two


Pauline James, MIR, Principal, Anchor HR

[email protected]

About Pauline James:

​Pauline has held a number of senior positions and led Employee Relations and Labour Relations in the Canadian market with large national organizations. Over her career she has also held roles in Training & Development, as an HR Generalist, and in Operations.

She has supported small independent units and large complex divisions in identifying barriers to employee engagement and performance. This has resulted in an improved employee experience, while also reducing risk and costs. Having worked closely with her clients and as a leader herself, she is sensitive to the genuine desire of leaders to provide a great work environment while meeting business objectives. Pauline is committed to working with her clients to help them become more effective, respecting their business’ unique challenges.

Pauline has a track record of working with Operations and HR divisions to build effective and sustainable programs, tailored to their needs. This includes support from the design through to implementation, including leader training and employee communications. What is unique about her approach is that she is committed to teaching and helping leaders to become independent as opposed to promoting reliance on an ‘expert’.