November 21, 2018

Culture Up Close

Brent Hultman

Brent Hultman
Partner & Program Facilitator/Strong People Systems

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At a recent summit, I had the opportunity to chat with a group of university students. Having lunch with this group of students was a great opportunity to get up close with each of them. We talked about what employers look for when they are hiring new people. Here's what they thought:

  • Being teachable and coachable
  • Having passion
  • Being adaptable
  • Having emotional intelligence and strong people skills
  • Being focused on growth both for themselves and for generating ideas for the growth of the company
  • Having strong communication skills
  • Understanding teamwork and being ready to focus on adding to the team to the benefit of the company
  • Possessing a strong sense of responsibility and integrity

Once I got each of them to contribute their thoughts they asked me if these are the things that their future employers will be looking for. My reply was that this is the right stuff if the company has a culture that will provide them with the support and inspiration to start strong and for them to continue to be able to be high-performance contributors. We also talked about the viewpoint that some employers have that all Millennials are lazy and entitled. These students are aware of this bias and are looking for companies with a culture that makes it safe for them to lean in and to demonstrate that they are not that sort of Millennials.

As I reflect on the conversation with these bright, enthusiastic young people it occurs to me once again that culture is in fact almost like air, if the air is poisoned it can kill initiative and will probably drive off the best and brightest (probably before they even consider a job offer). A healthy culture will attract the sort of people that this group of students represent and they will help to make the culture even stronger.

Comments? You can contact me directly via my ExecRanks profile.

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