Having Your Culture Fit Cake and Eating It Too: The Great Culture Fit Paradox

How do we resolve the clash between the need for “culture fit” and “diversity pays?”

Companies search hopefully for new hires that fit their culture; an employee who doesn’t fit the organizational culture is more difficult to retain and produces strain on teams, ultimately costing the company money in terms of lost productivity and cost to replace that employee – as much as 50% of a yearly salary. The employee that fits, on the other hand, is much easier for the team to absorb and to continue working together as they have done. Is that a good thing?

More and more research shows that diverse teams produce more effectively. A 2015 McKinsey report on 366 public companies found that those in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity in management were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their industry mean. But these returns were often attained at the risk of personal discomfort.
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