‘Great’ at Sales But They Don’t ‘Fit’ the Culture

Sound familiar? A ‘good’, maybe even a ‘great’ salesperson is recruited and hits the ground running, kicking sales goals in the new role, however within a short space of time they have alienated their team, decided that the role is not for them, and left the organisation. As we know the cost of this selection is huge and begs the question, why did this ‘great’ salesperson not work out?

While there are many possible scenarios and reasons, we often find that a major contributor is the cultural ‘fit’ between the individual and the organisation. In recent times there has been a great deal written about organisational culture and while there is no one definition, many share in common themes such as collective experience, beliefs, goals, norms, values, traditions, systems and routines. It is commonly agreed that organisational culture is deeply rooted and often difficult for those inside to articulate and see with clarity. Cultural ‘fit’ is the compatibility between an individuals and organisations values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours. It is often over looked when making recruitment decisions because organisations either do not know how to include it or do not see the importance of it.

Why cultural ‘fit” is important?

Culture is everywhere in an organisation and is behind what happens… and what doesn’t happen in your organisation. Culture is strongly related to group values, and in turn group values are heavily influenced by what organisations and leaders prefer and encourage. As such, cultures have the power to attract people or expel them, and assessing values affords powerful insights. Values are beliefs about what is important or desirable. Extensive research has shown compelling reasons for matching people with organisational culture and how it adds bottom-line value: team culture examples


  • Firstly, it is important that employees’ values match those of the organisation in order to create a cohesive and supportive environment.
  • Secondly, a close value match between individuals and the organisation means the individual experiences significantly greater job satisfaction.
  • Thirdly, where the organisation’s values and those of the individual align, employees stay longer and are more likely to adjust to the environment.
  • Finally, the most productive organisations are those where employees stay and enjoy the job.

So, how do you measure cultural ‘fit’?


While there many methods to gain insight into cultural ‘fit’, an effective way is through Psychometric Assessments and consulting. There are Psychometric Assessments that specifically provide insight into motives and values and identify the following key areas:


  • Determine the existing culture and values system
  • Strengths and weaknesses within the organisation, including areas to leverage and gaps that may hinder future success
  • Information about specific areas such as current potential for innovation and creativity- identifying individuals who naturally ‘have it’ and how to leverage this, as well as how to encourage those who do not
  • Information about the existing team to assist in recruiting new people into the business to ensure they ‘fit

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