The best definition of company culture that I have found is from jobsearch.about.com, where it is defined as:
“Company culture is the personality of a company and defines what a company, from an employee perspective, is like to work for.”
While Marvin Bower, the founder of McKinsey talks about company culture as:
“The way we do things around here.”
There are several factors that make up a company’s culture. They include how satisfied employees are in their jobs, employee morale, the type of leadership, and the company’s strategy and vision.
The thing about a company’s culture is that we can either thrive in it or struggle in it which is why it is important to make sure you believe you can do the former before you consider applying for a job.
To be successful in a job, not only do we have to be good at it, but we have to be able to trust the management team, feel valued and respected for what we do, feel empowered and part of a team; we need to know what the mission of the company is and the part we play in achieving that mission. We also need to feel that we can speak openly without being criticised. And most importantly, actions will speak louder than words.
A key question is, can we measure a company’s culture?
It is difficult to measure a company’s culture because it very much depends on the individuals and working relationships within the company. Consultants are often brought in to carry out studies to determine a company’s culture but they often analyse the company’s mission or success rates the analysis of which tells us little about the culture of the organisation; or they carry out surveys into employee satisfaction, the results of which are often distrusted by employees.
Before applying for a new job, I recommend that you check out 3 things about the company to see if you will be a good fit with the company culture:
- What is the story behind the company? What is its mission and values and how closely do these match with your own personal values?
- What type of people does the company employ and what does the company do to develop and retain its employees?
- Does the company encourage open communication and does its method of communication fit with the company mission?
Your answers to these questions will help you decide if you really want to work for the company.
© Anne Galloway
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Anne Galloway is the Careers Consultant for those who want to put the fun and passion back into their working week. Find out how Anne can help you along your path to career success at www.power-to-change.eu