Chief Culture Officer?

Jason Nemoy
Jason Nemoy

Jason brings 15 years of experience as an HR practitioner. He worked in a variety of HR roles, most recently as Director of Human Resources for Good Shepherd Services, a private non-profit residential treatment facility, where he was responsible for overall administration and executive management of human resources. As a Human Resources Talent Consultant at entreQuest, he works with clients to understand the exact skills and attributes that would fit the cultural climate and their environment.

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Yep… As an HR professional, this caught my attention too.

It’s safe to say, we don’t see the title “Chief Culture Officer” very often. And we’re certainly not talking about the all-mighty-over-seer of cultivated microorganisms and bacteria!

In a recent HR Magazine article, contributor Kathy Gurchiek elaborates on how building and managing a company culture has literally become a full-time job in today’s economy, often placing the CCO strategically alongside the CEO and HR leader. Through testimonials, the article also emphasizes the critical nature of establishing a firm “daily grip” to ensure organizational culture remains strong and healthy. Think about it. If you’re an organization that is growing at light speed, or potentially headed towards a merger/acquisition, the culture (your company’s soil!) may need the extra attention it respectfully deserves.

The role of culture has taken such a monumental shift in the previous decade (or more) that we’ve gotten to the point where creating a new role in the C-suite for a Culture Officer has become a necessity for some organizations. It’s a pattern with many organizations to focus on the values and goals of a particular business including management style, employee morale, productivity levels, and efficiency.

Leveraging your company culture can (and should) start from the very beginning, even before a new team member joins the team. What does your company live by? Do you have interview questions that measure and evaluate the core values, beliefs and attributes you so desperately look for in a candidate?

Who fits the bill as your CCO?

At entreQuest, we continuously think of ourselves as Chief Culture Officers for our clients. We strive to provide insights and valuable resources that ensure our clients are growing healthy and strong. This is exactly what a Chief Culture Officer does for a company.

One of the challenges of the CCO role is that it is relatively undefined and the skills and abilities that you might consider for this role are wide. At eQ, here are some key cultural attributes we like to socialize about with our clients and friends:

Flexible Visionary: Is the candidate able to inspire cultural change while also remaining adaptable to new, different or changing requirements?

Entrepreneurial: Does the candidate think like an owner? Does he/she want to be part of growing something where their individual contribution can directly affect the company and team success?

Energy: Is the candidate highly motivated, outgoing, and an individual with the ability to self-start, self-focus and energize those around him/her? (If you’re growing, you’ll probably want individuals on your team with a high degree of passion about life … and about work!)

Fit: This one is not so much an attribute as it is an absolute. Your CCO is someone who is in place to grow your culture, to be a true extension of everything you want your brand to stand for. So if the person isn’t a perfect fit, then all the other attributes don’t matter all that much.

Remember, culture is the soil of an organization, and tending the soil is vital for growth. Everyone in the organization can contribute to the foundation of culture. Whether you have the need (or budget) to hire a Chief Culture Officer, we all need to promote a healthy and thriving culture within our own organizations. Lead by example, surround yourself with individuals who can positively contribute toward your organization’s cultural values, and take ownership of the challenges you encounter. Your company will grow regardless, and you might find yourself in the next role as Chief Culture Officer.

To learn more about the hiring process from a human resource perspective and about third-party placement search firms, don’t miss out Jason Nemoy’s presentation “Demystifying Employment Search Firms” on Wednesday, April 6th, at 4:45pm at the Harbor East Campus. To register, go to Carey Compass. Not able to travel to HE on that day? We got you covered. The session will be recorded and available to all Carey students 24 hours after the live presentation.

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