I have been a Pilates devotee for years, but from trapeze flying to aerial yoga I’ve yet to meet a challenge I wasn’t willing to try at least once. Lately, it’s been impossible not to notice the SoulCycle sensation sweeping major markets.  SoulCycle enthusiasts seem to treat it as more than just a fitness program, but a religion of sorts.  I’ve been intrigued by the rapid expansion of SoulCycle, not just from a fitness perspective but also from a business perspective.  It is a company that is clearly doing something right, they now have over 70 studios and their customers can’t get enough.

Recently Tony Robbins interviewed SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan about the SoulCycle phenomenon. She shared the reasons behind the company’s success, one of which was no surprise:  great hiring decisions.  Melanie mentioned that they treat every class like a live production, rather than a fixed product, so the integrity of the brand rests with the people who are delivering this experience.

Does this sound familiar to you? Most leaders I work with face this same question and want to ensure the right fit with their organization. In the podcast Melanie stated, “When you get really clear about your culture and what you stand for, you take one step back and ask how do I hire for that kind of attitude?” She goes on to describe their approach to hiring to ensure alignment through the organization by hiring instructors based on “energy and aptitude not necessarily experience.”  At SoulCycle they will teach you what you need to know, but they are looking for someone who naturally sees the glass half full and is solution oriented.

Melanie’s remarks ring true with me. In fact, I encourage our customers to strongly consider attitude and core value alignment when making hiring decisions. Employers must understand what it means to match people with job demands, to match people with their coworkers, and to match them with the organization itself. With this knowledge, organizations can build compatibility between individuals and the work environment. Research shows that the better the fit, the better the performance. It has everything to do with employee happiness, health, and results.

A lot of people are drawn to organizations whose values resonate with the values they have. In fact, research shows that people who are more committed and satisfied in their jobs are less likely to leave when there is fit between their individual moral levels and the ethics of their organization. Likewise, studies indicate that an organization’s values can attract potential employees, but the values of recruiting organizations must be visible for that to happen. Potential applicants must be able to assess recruiting organizations’ values. To do so, applicants must have proximity, exposure, and familiarity with the recruiting organization’s values.

More information about recruiting, onboarding, and commitment can be found in my latest book, Energized Enterprise.





DR. MARTA WILSON is the founder of The LEAP Enterprise, best-selling author, creator of the LEAP app, an industrial-organizational psychologist, and the CEO of Transformation Systems, Inc. (TSI). Marta has dedicated her career to leadership consultancy while serving as board member, author, catalyst, coach, mentor, researcher, speaker, trainer, volunteer, and fundraiser. With a passion to share proven strategies that drive client results, Marta has authored several business books including LEAP, Energized Enterprise, Everybody’s Business, Leaders in Motion and the Transformation Desktop Guide. Specializing in leadership effectiveness, Marta holds a Ph.D. and M.S. in industrial and organizational psychology from Virginia Tech and a B.A. in academic psychology from the University of Tennessee.