What Is Company Culture? | Definition | Resume.com
- What is company culture?
- Why is company culture important?
- How can you determine what a company’s culture is like?
- Common types of company culture
- How can you tell what kind of company culture you’re looking for?
Finding a company culture that suits your personal and professional needs is an important part of having a satisfying career. Culture can adapt and change over time based on influence from employees or a changing mission, so many companies seek to hire candidates who would make positive contributions and fit in with the company culture. In this article, learn all about the theory of company culture and how it can make a significant impact on your experience at work and your ability to be productive and successful.
What is company culture?
Company culture is the combination of attitudes, values and norms within a business. Ideally, company culture aligns with the ethics of the business and they type of work they do. It determines how employees interact with one another and how they view their clients and customers. Company culture is usually guided by management but requires input and commitment from employees in order to thrive.
Why is company culture important?
Company culture is important because it influences everyone within the company and the quality of the work they produce. Culture can be a determining factor when it comes to the success of a company and the ability of its employees to set and reach goals. You are more likely to get satisfaction from your job when you fit in with the company culture, and you will likely be more attracted to jobs that meet your expectations about how you plan to grow and interact at work. A good company culture can help you avoid burnout at work and motivate you toward career growth, while a disorganized or negative culture can interrupt workflow and may even confuse employees about their responsibilities.
How can you determine what a company’s culture is like?
Follow these steps to learn about a company’s culture before accepting a new job:
1. First, talk with current employees
When applying for a job, talking to current employees at a company is a great way to gain insight into the company culture. Ask questions about the environment and the norms for employee behavior. You will likely have an opportunities to talk to current employees during your interview, so be sure to ask about the team you would be working with. Talking with employees about the company’s reputation and how they perceive their work environment can help you develop your understanding of the most significant aspects of a company’s culture.
2. Next, research their web presence
A company’s website and social media often reflects the attitude and personality of a workplace. The language they use to describe their services can show whether a company is more casual and laid back or more fast-paced and structured. Additionally, there are several websites that post reviews of a company’s conditions for employees. Researching any available information about the company can help you understand their mission and the methods they use to accomplish their goals.
3. Third, pay attention to your interview
The tone of your interview can often be an indication of the company culture. Pay attention to the behavior and attitude of your interviewer, manager and other people you interact with during the hiring process. The actions they take when selecting a new member of their team may be similar to how they handle other situations in the workplace. Additionally, many employers seek to hire candidates who are already well-suited to the existing company culture, so listen carefully to any questions that relate to expected attitudes or habits in the workplace.
4. Lastly, ask about core values
Many companies have a set list of core values that they hope to embody in their company culture. If these are not clear on their website or in their mission statement, ask your interviewer or a human resources representative about what their company’s core values are and how they demonstrate those values in the workplace. It is important to understand the practical application of a company’s core values and how successful your prospective coworkers are at embodying them.
Common types of company culture
Here are some of the common types of company culture:
Traditional or formal
Companies with a traditional or formal culture often operate with a clear hierarchy and defined roles. Employees usually advance through official promotions and well-structured opportunities. Companies that rely on consistency and structure to produce accurate work often use aspects of formal culture. People who thrive when given clear direction and come into work with a serious mindset may prefer a formal workplace.
Casual or collaborative
Some work environments focus on having a collaborative and casual work environment where employee roles are more flexible and people are encouraged to make their workplace fun and creative. Casual company cultures often support people who are interested in taking initiative on new projects and creating opportunities for themselves. People who like to express their personality in the workplace and want to have a friendly team environment might seek out a casual company culture.
How can you tell what kind of company culture you’re looking for?
Use these steps as a guide when deciding what elements of company culture suit you the best:
1. First, list your values
First, consider what you value most in your job and in your life. Company culture often influences factors such as job satisfaction, work-life balance and the ability to grow within a company, so it is important to understand your unique priorities before committing to a certain type of workplace.
Consider whether you prefer to work independently or if you thrive when collaborating with a team. Some people may prefer to have clear guidance on the scope of their position, while others might enjoy working in a position that allows them to try new projects and take on flexible responsibilities.
2. Next, reflect on past successes and failures
Whether you are searching for your first job or are already established in your career, it is important to reflect on your past experiences when envisioning your ideal company culture. Think about jobs, classroom environments or volunteer work that you have enjoyed working in and try to determine what cultural aspects you appreciated the most in each situation.
Additionally, think about the jobs you have enjoyed the least or other situations where you struggled to succeed. Deciding which aspects of company culture you need to avoid is just as important as learning about the conditions that will help you succeed.
3. Third, seek out mentorship
Some people may be able to succeed in several different types of environments, so choosing the best company culture among several good options can be difficult. Seeking out mentorship and support from someone with more career experience may be able to provide useful advice for choosing and building your ideal company culture. Because company culture changes over time, a mentor can often advise you on how to adapt to a new environment and drive positive culture changes.
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