A company’s culture is loosely defined as its values and internal relationships.
When a company has a good culture, it can mean less stress for employees, lower turnover, and higher productivity. When the culture is bad, it can force good people out the door and have a dampening effect on productivity.
As an employee, it’s always good to keep your finger on the pulse of your company culture. Obviously, you’ll want to work in a positive, supportive culture, not a toxic one, as staying in a toxic culture for too long isn’t just bad for your career, it’s also bad for your mental well-being.
Below is a shortlist of steps you can take to assess your company’s culture.
Watch, Listen and Learn
If you’ve been in the same company culture for a while, it can be hard to assess it objectively. A good starting point is to think of yourself as an anthropologist watching an organization of people whom you do not know.
Try to study the staff members around you and how they interact with the culture, as objectively as you can. In particular, take note of how people convey emotion, as emotions are indications of an underlying mindset: People do not get upset about something that isn’t important to them. Look into any conflicts for the same reason.
It also helps to look at the decor, amenities, and personal objects around the workplace, as the appearance of a place of business can be a major sign of its culture.
Consider the Theory and the Reality
Many companies talk a good game when it comes to mission, values, and purpose. However, the reality on the ground often doesn’t match what’s on the official website.
When analyzing your company’s culture, think about the ways the stated values and mission translate into your job duties and interactions. Does your typical workday reflect the company’s stated ideal? Do you feel inspired by the way your job fits into the bigger picture?
Also, consider how stated values and goals translate on a team level. Are employees working together in pursuit of the company mission, or are they essentially acting as freelancers chasing after their own personal interests?
Finally, you should consider if the company is living up to its stated values and mission.
Talk to Your Colleagues
Discussing the various aspects of your company culture can help you get a wide range of opinions and viewpoints on the topic. Ask your coworkers what they would change about the company, what they like best, what behaviors get rewarded, and which ones get punished.
These conversations should go a long way in illustrating the kind of culture your company has. It’s also helpful to speak with people outside your company to get their perspective.
We Can Help Find a Culture that Fits You
At Career Concepts, we often connect job seekers with best-fit job opportunities. If you are currently looking for a job opportunity that has a suitable culture for you, please contact us today.