Want to build a stellar workplace culture from the ground up? The secret to a thriving workplace community might actually start in an often overlooked aspect of hiring—your screening practices. To some it may seem like the least important part of the culture-building process, but creating an efficient, positive workplace begins, well, at the beginning.
According to Forbes, creating an excellent company culture begins with establishing firm company values, regardless if they’re fully implemented or aspirational. On top of that, most HR firms will tell you that although social media can be integral into creating a healthy culture, having firm social media policies are absolutely necessary to protecting company identity as well as individual employees.
Start from the foundation.
What makes a company truly great? Most executives say that the people they hire will make or break their business. But hiring quality talent is competitive, and in order to find the people that are “business builders” instead of “business busters,” you may need to adjust your perspective on the true purpose of background screening.
Think of it as the precursor to your standard social media policy (because you’re smart, you already have one of those). Opting for more modern screening practices like social media background checks establishes that foundation for company culture that then frees up employees to focus on other things like enacting values that make your company distinct. Social media policies are excellent reactive ways to control workplace culture—social media screening is an even better way to gain employee trust by proactively weeding out bad habits. It not only gives your recruiting team a more complete candidate profile during the hiring process, it also sends a message to potential candidates that you mean business.
Let bad candidates weed themselves out.
Eventually with that sort of reputation, candidates will begin to self-select, effectively turning away the bad ones and giving you an even better pool of prospective hires to begin with. After all, a good employee is not just an efficient worker or creative personality—she’s an ethical, positive individual who won’t drag her co-workers down with morally suspect or criminal behavior.
The best talent wants to work somewhere that values them and accepts them on a communal level—a place they can be proud to call their own. Healthy, productive employees seek out healthy options, including companies that emphasize building community and operating on a set of robust company values. Again, self-selection. If you have built a positive community based on measurable screening practices, it is reasonable to say that your number of incidents or complaints will have been mitigated, and the talent you want is going to notice. So not only are you winnowing away bad hires, you’re potentially setting up a system that rewards itself ad infinitum. Great talent will, after all, only attract more great talent.
Protect your unprotected.
According to a global study done by Proskauer Rose, 70% of employers report having to discipline employees for violating social media policies, 64% of which is for disparaging content about the company or other employees. This is particularly relevant when it comes to protected classes—a simple term for a wide array of human experiences that will naturally benefit from modern screening practices the most. Social media screening establishes safer working environments for members of protected classes who are arguably the most acutely aware of company values. If all your employees already experience a baseline level of work-related stress (it happens, life’s not perfect), then how much more stress are your protected-class employees experiencing on a day-to-day basis? Employees who know their company cares about their safety and point of view will ostensibly function more efficiently—and be able to establish a more secure sense of belonging—if the stress of worrying about workplace discrimination has been removed.
At the end of the day, you’re not just doing right by promoting better community, you’re creating a more inclusive sense of security and potentially lifting stress from your employees who have likely been told that their class-related stress is a personal problem. A company at peak performance has removed as many stressors as possible from company culture. If you had the technology to minimize the fear of workplace violence, harassment, and discrimination to your community by problematic hires, what would stop you from implementing it wholesale?
Implementing more modern screening approaches like social media background checks is not a comprehensive strategy to build an effective culture, but goes a long way to set the foundation for a precedent of workplace happiness and inclusion. When personal excellence is paired with workplace acceptance, you have the makings of a beautiful community.
About the author
Ben is the Marketing Manager for Social Intelligence.