Culture Add

June 13, 2023
Unlock the power of diversity and innovation with Culture Add. Discover how HR and hiring managers foster inclusivity and drive organizational success.

What is Culture Add?

Culture Add refers to the practice of hiring individuals who bring unique perspectives, experiences, and skills that add value to a company's culture and promote innovation. Unlike traditional approaches that focus solely on "Culture Fit," Culture Add recognizes the importance of diversity and the contributions that individuals from different backgrounds can make to an organization. It goes beyond hiring based on similarity and instead embraces the power of diversity to foster creativity, problem-solving, and overall organizational success.

Importance of Culture Add in the Workplace

Embracing Culture Add in the workplace has become increasingly important due to several key reasons:

  1. Diversity of Perspectives: Culture Add brings together individuals with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and expertise, leading to a rich tapestry of viewpoints and insights. This diversity of perspectives promotes critical thinking, challenges assumptions, and leads to more innovative solutions and strategies.
  2. Enhanced Problem-Solving: By incorporating a wide range of perspectives and approaches to problem-solving, Culture Add enables organizations to tackle complex challenges with a broader toolkit. Different viewpoints can lead to more robust and creative solutions that may not have been possible with a homogenous workforce.
  3. Innovation and Adaptability: Culture Add fuels innovation by encouraging a culture of openness, curiosity, and continuous learning. When employees feel comfortable sharing their unique perspectives, organizations can tap into a wealth of fresh ideas, adapt to changing market conditions, and stay ahead of the competition.
  4. Employee Engagement and Retention: Fostering Culture Add demonstrates an organization's commitment to inclusivity and creates a sense of belonging among employees. When employees feel valued and see their unique contributions appreciated, it increases their engagement, job satisfaction, and overall commitment to the organization, reducing turnover rates.
  5. Improved Decision-Making: Diversity of thought, a key component of Culture Add, enables organizations to make better decisions. When diverse perspectives are considered, decision-making processes become more well-rounded, incorporating a wider range of factors and reducing the risks of groupthink.

Significance of Culture Add in Hiring

Culture Add holds significant significance for HR professionals and hiring managers as they play a crucial role in shaping organizational culture and talent acquisition. Here's why Culture Add matters to them:

  1. Attracting Top Talent: In today's competitive job market, candidates actively seek organizations that embrace diversity and inclusivity. By prioritizing Culture Add, HR professionals and hiring managers can position their organizations as attractive destinations for top talent, enhancing their employer brand and attracting a diverse pool of candidates.
  2. Driving Organizational Success: HR professionals and hiring managers understand that diverse teams lead to better business outcomes. By championing Culture Add, they contribute to the organization's overall success by fostering an environment that promotes collaboration, innovation, and adaptability.
  3. Mitigating Bias and Promoting Fairness: Culture Add challenges biases and promotes fairness in the hiring process. HR professionals and hiring managers can actively work to reduce unconscious biases, implement standardized selection criteria, and ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every stage of the talent acquisition process.
  4. Creating Inclusive Work Environments: HR professionals and hiring managers have a unique opportunity to create inclusive work environments where employees feel valued, respected, and empowered to contribute their unique perspectives. By nurturing a Culture Add mindset, they foster a sense of belonging, leading to higher employee engagement and retention rates.
  5. Aligning with Business Goals: Embracing Culture Add aligns with the strategic goals of the organization. HR professionals and hiring managers play a pivotal role in integrating Culture Add initiatives with the organization's overall talent management strategy, ensuring that diversity and inclusion are core pillars of the company's culture and operations.

By understanding the definition, recognizing the importance, and acknowledging the significance of Culture Add, HR professionals and hiring managers can actively shape their organizations' cultures, attract top talent, and drive innovation and success in today's diverse and dynamic workplace.

Culture Fit vs. Culture Add

Culture Fit has been a common term used in the hiring process for evaluating candidates' compatibility with an organization's culture. While Culture Fit focuses on aligning with existing cultural norms, it has limitations as it can inadvertently lead to homogeneity and lack of diversity. In contrast, Culture Add recognizes that diverse perspectives and experiences contribute to a richer and more innovative culture. By shifting the focus from Fit to Add, organizations can create an environment that embraces diversity and fosters creativity.

Culture Add Benefits

Diversity and Inclusion

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) are fundamental aspects of Culture Add. By actively seeking candidates with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, organizations can build a workforce that reflects the broader society. Embracing D&I through Culture Add has several benefits:

  • Enhanced problem-solving: A diverse workforce brings together different viewpoints, enabling more comprehensive and creative problem-solving approaches.
  • Increased innovation: Unique perspectives and experiences foster innovation by challenging conventional thinking and driving new ideas.
  • Improved decision-making: Diverse teams consider a wider range of factors and viewpoints, leading to more informed and well-rounded decisions.
  • Better customer understanding: A diverse workforce helps organizations better understand and meet the needs of diverse customer bases.

Innovation and Creativity

Culture Add plays a vital role in driving innovation and creativity within organizations. By valuing and encouraging diverse perspectives, companies can unlock new ideas and solutions. Key benefits of Culture Add in fostering innovation and creativity include:

  • Alternative viewpoints: Employees with diverse backgrounds bring fresh perspectives, enabling organizations to identify unique opportunities and develop innovative solutions.
  • Collaboration and knowledge sharing: Diverse teams promote collaboration and foster a culture of knowledge sharing, leading to increased creativity and breakthrough ideas.
  • Market adaptability: Cultivating a culture of innovation through Culture Add enables organizations to adapt to evolving market trends and seize new opportunities.

How to Identify Culture Add Candidates?

To identify candidates who will contribute to Culture Add, HR professionals and hiring managers can employ several strategies:

Competency-based Hiring

Competency-based hiring involves assessing candidates based on their demonstrated skills, behaviors, and values that align with the organization's culture and values. To identify Culture Add candidates through competency-based hiring, consider the following:

  • Identify relevant competencies: Determine the specific competencies that reflect your organization's values and desired culture.
  • Design assessments: Develop assessment methods such as case studies, simulations, or work samples that evaluate candidates' competencies related to Culture Add.
  • Assess potential: Look beyond traditional qualifications and consider candidates who exhibit the potential to contribute unique perspectives and experiences.

Behavioral Interviewing

Behavioral interviewing focuses on understanding candidates' past behaviors and experiences to predict future performance and cultural contributions. When conducting behavioral interviews to identify Culture Add candidates, consider the following approaches:

  • Targeted questions: Craft questions that elicit responses related to diversity, adaptability, collaboration, and open-mindedness.
  • Examples of behavioral interview questions for Culture Add:
  • "Describe a situation where you worked with a diverse team and how you contributed to its success."
  • "Share an experience where you had to challenge the status quo and propose an innovative solution."

Assessing Diversity of Thought

Diversity of thought refers to different thinking styles, problem-solving approaches, and cognitive perspectives. To assess diversity of thought in candidates:

  • Recognize diverse thinking styles: Understand and appreciate different thinking styles, such as analytical, creative, practical, and relational.
  • Incorporate diversity of thought in assessments: Include exercises or questions that gauge candidates' ability to think critically, approach problems from multiple angles, and contribute diverse insights.

Fostering Culture Add in the Workplace

To foster Culture Add within the organization, HR professionals and hiring managers can implement various initiatives:

Onboarding and Integration

Effective onboarding plays a critical role in assimilating new hires into the organization's culture and values. Consider the following strategies:

  • Comprehensive orientation: Provide new hires with a thorough introduction to the organization's mission, vision, and values.
  • Cultural immersion: Facilitate opportunities for new hires to interact with employees from different backgrounds and departments.
  • Buddy system: Assign experienced employees as buddies or mentors to new hires, helping them navigate the organization and build connections.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) provide a platform for employees with shared backgrounds, interests, or identities to connect, support one another, and promote Culture Add. Implementing ERGs involves:

  • Creating ERGs: Establish employee-led ERGs that represent diverse groups within the organization, such as LGBTQ+ employees, women in leadership, or cultural affinity groups.
  • Support and resources: Allocate resources, including funding, meeting spaces, and leadership support, to empower ERGs to host events, initiatives, and awareness campaigns.
  • Integration with organizational goals: Align ERG activities with the organization's overall diversity and inclusion strategy to maximize their impact.

Training and Development

Training and development programs play a crucial role in nurturing Culture Add within the workforce. Consider the following approaches:

  • Diversity and inclusion training: Provide interactive workshops and training sessions to educate employees about the importance of diversity, inclusion, and unconscious bias.
  • Cultural competence training: Offer programs that enhance employees' understanding of different cultures, backgrounds, and perspectives.
  • Leadership development: Train leaders to embrace Culture Add, model inclusive behaviors, and create an environment that encourages diverse contributions.

Leadership and Role Modeling

Leadership plays a pivotal role in fostering a culture that embraces and values Culture Add. HR professionals and hiring managers can:

  • Lead by example: Demonstrate inclusive behaviors, open-mindedness, and respect for diverse perspectives.
  • Promote psychological safety: Create an environment where employees feel comfortable sharing their unique viewpoints without fear of judgment or reprisal.
  • Recognize and reward Culture Add: Acknowledge and appreciate employees who contribute to a diverse and inclusive culture, fostering a culture of appreciation and recognition.

How to Measure Culture Add?

To measure the impact of Culture Add initiatives and identify areas for improvement, HR professionals and hiring managers can utilize various methods:

Key Metrics for Assessing Culture Add

  • Employee engagement and satisfaction: Monitor employee surveys and feedback to gauge how well Culture Add initiatives are received and whether they contribute to improved engagement and satisfaction levels.
  • Retention rates and turnover: Assess whether Culture Add efforts positively impact employee retention and reduce turnover rates.
  • Innovation and creativity indicators: Track metrics related to innovation, such as the number of new ideas generated, successful implementation of innovative projects, or patents filed.

Gathering Feedback and Insights

  • Employee surveys and feedback mechanisms: Conduct regular surveys to gauge employees' perceptions of the organization's commitment to Culture Add and gather suggestions for improvement.
  • Focus groups or interviews: Facilitate group discussions or one-on-one interviews to gather qualitative insights into employees' experiences with Culture Add initiatives.
  • Performance reviews and feedback: Incorporate questions or feedback prompts in performance evaluations that evaluate employees' contributions to Culture Add.

Ongoing Evaluation and Continuous Improvement

  • Regularly review and adapt strategies: Continuously assess the effectiveness of Culture Add initiatives, identifying areas for improvement and adjusting strategies accordingly.
  • Monitor progress and make data-driven adjustments: Establish benchmarks, set goals, and track progress to ensure Culture Add efforts are aligned with organizational objectives.
  • Share success stories: Celebrate and communicate success stories that highlight the positive impact of Culture Add contributions, inspiring others to embrace and participate in similar initiatives.

Culture Add Challenges and Limitations

Implementing Culture Add initiatives may encounter challenges. HR professionals and hiring managers can employ strategies to overcome these challenges:

Addressing Bias and Stereotypes

  • Unconscious bias in the hiring process: Implement bias mitigation strategies, such as blind resume screening, diverse interview panels, and structured interview questions.
  • Promoting awareness and education around bias: Conduct training programs to raise awareness of unconscious biases and their impact on decision-making.

Nurturing a Culture of Belonging

  • Creating an inclusive and welcoming environment: Foster a culture that values diversity and inclusion, where all employees feel safe, respected, and included.
  • Building psychological safety within teams: Encourage open communication, feedback, and collaboration, allowing individuals to express their unique perspectives without fear of judgment.
  • Supporting employee well-being and mental health: Provide resources and support programs that prioritize employee well-being and mental health, creating an environment where everyone can thrive.

Managing Resistance and Overcoming Barriers

  • Dealing with resistance to change and cultural shifts: Communicate the benefits of Culture Add, address concerns, and involve employees in the change process.
  • Building a coalition of Culture Add champions: Identify and empower individuals who champion Culture Add, engaging them in the implementation and advocacy of initiatives.


Culture Add represents a paradigm shift in the hiring and organizational culture landscape, emphasizing the value of diversity, inclusion, and unique perspectives. By actively fostering a Culture Add mindset, HR professionals and hiring managers can create an environment that drives innovation, enhances problem-solving, and supports the overall success of their organizations. Embracing Culture Add as a strategic priority unlocks the full potential of diverse talent, enabling companies to thrive in an ever-evolving and competitive business landscape.