July 28, 2013
I never fit in with the other people in my marathon training group. They cultivated this high-pressure culture that was dependent on immediate results, something that inevitably led to my not training as hard and eventually quitting. Of course, this is merely a tale (since, I mean, LOL what is “running?” Food marathon, maybe…). Nonetheless, fitting into the culture of any organization is important both for the success of the individual as well as the group itself; no one knows this better than Natalie Baumgartner.
Baumgartner is the cofounder of and chief psychologist at RoundPegg. RoundPegg is a software platform that quantifies the culture of individual organizations and provides tools to align employee hiring, development, and engagement. Prior to RoundPegg, she worked as a business psychologist, consulting companies on choosing the right leaders that fit their respective companies. RoundPegg provides this similar functionality to smaller-scale companies, without the need for expensive consulting.
Baumgartner knows how important it is to fit into the culture of an organization, and shares an anecdote about her own experience during her TEDxMileHigh talk. When considering PhD programs, she was choosing between UCLA and the University of Colorado-Denver (DU). While UCLA had the top program in clinical psychology, she knew that DU seemed a better fit for her. So, what does she do? Well, what any other smart, skilled person would: she chose UCLA. That was short-lived, however, due to her truly not fitting in with the culture at UCLA; she spent the remainder of her five years at DU.
It wasn’t because Baumgartner lacked the intelligence or the skills for UCLA; rather, it came down to a matter of fitting in with the culture. Forty-nine percent of new hires fail within the first 18 months of being on the job; however, 89 percent of those failures are not attributed to a lack of skills, but rather due to an employee’s poor fit into the company culture.
Strong organizational culture is of paramount importance to corporate performance. This culture, however, necessarily involves the people within an organization. For Baumgartner, there is no company culture if the people of that company themselves do not fit in with the values of the greater body. Person-environment fit is essential to the success of a company; the better an individual fits in with the work environment or culture, the more satisfied and more productive he or she will be.
Watch Natalie talk about creating a successful company culture here.
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