Corporate Culture and Managing Employee Mistakes


Corporate culture is a critical attribute for businesses looking to attract and retain high quality talent. Corporate culture refers to a set of beliefs and behaviors that guide how a company’s management and employees interact. Mistake management is a key element that is reflective of a company’s corporate culture. Our proprietary job seeker interview data sheds light on businesses can showcase and develop their corporate culture and employee support structures to attract and retain the best talent.


  • We use data from over 300 calls made to prospective employees to explore what a good corporate culture fit means for employees based on their expectations of how managers provide feedback.
  • Mistake management is an important aspect of how employees and job seekers perceive a company’s culture.
  • Job seekers looking for professional growth and a company culture fit value feedback and professional guidance.
  • Highlighting the ability for a prospective job seeker to grow in a role, learn, and receive support in job postings can help companies in their talent acquisition and recruiting process.
  • Emphasizing and enhancing employee communication, support, and learning will have a significant positive impact on retention of high quality employees.

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

It turns out that one way that culture is reflected in dealing with employees is their perception of how mistakes are handled. Mistakes are inevitable and are a part of the growing pains of entering a new job. Evidence from new data gathered by MentorWorks indicates that employers should consider how they manage these mistakes, which in turn affects employees’ perception of the company’s cultural values.

What are Employee Preferences for Manager Guidance?

corporate culture and employee retention


In our 2023 Prospective Employee Survey, we use data from over 300 calls made to prospective employees to explore what a good corporate culture fit means for employees based on their expectations of how managers provide feedback. We use four dimensions to account for mistake management – manager should help improve (performance), manager should communicate, manager should teach, and manager should discuss privately.

We find that employees seeking a corporate culture fit rank all these mistake management and employee support characteristics higher than those who do not seek a fit. These findings indicate that employees that value a good corporate culture fit with their employer want opportunities to continue to improve their performance at work. The data also shows that such employees value communication and discretion from managers about how such communications happen. Further, employees seeking a culture fit are also looking to learn and are looking for guidance and mentoring from their managers.

Overall, our evidence shows that corporate culture is measured, in part, by the support structures as well as employee interaction and communication opportunities provided by a company. In general, this and other results in our report show that prospective employees want support from their managers to help them grow and learn from their mistakes, help them develop professionally, and help them contribute positively to the company, all of which are important for the talent acquisition process and retention of current and future employees.

How can Companies Use Our Findings?

Employers can use these findings to improve their recruiting and retention strategy. Staffing firms can use our findings to guide and advice their clients on how to approach these issues. Here are some examples of steps employers can take:

    1. Indicate in the job posting the learning and development opportunities in a position and the potential for professional growth. Most companies have some type of internal training and support structures. Highlighting these efforts in job requirements can go a long way to show prospective employees the advantages of working at the company.
    2. Highlight internal support structures affinity groups, mentorship opportunities, and corporate development programs.
    3. Emphasize any corporate training or education benefits programs. Statistics show that employees value such programs. Education benefits also significantly increase retention rates at companies.
    4. Emphasize the importance of communication and mistake management to managers to help foster a stronger sense of corporate culture.


A positive corporate culture can contribute to the success of a business; however, the culture itself depends on its people and the way they interact, support, and lift one another. By integrating these methods into a business’s practices and communications efforts, companies can support current and future employees’ professional success and development. Further, companies can help retain their employees and attract promising jobseekers by highlighting the importance of support and guidance in their talent acquisition process. To learn more about job seekers and job seekers’ preferences for jobs and employers, develop ideas of how to reshape your recruiting strategy, and boost your success in staffing efforts read our 2023 Prospective Employee Survey.

Learn more about our work to support recruiters and staffing organizations by reaching out to us at