Let’s face it, we spend a lot of our time at work, and workplace culture is something that can directly affect your life and productivity for as long as you work at a company.
Let’s have a look more specifically at why you should consider the workplace culture of a prospective company before accepting any job offer:
What is company culture?
It can be difficult to determine a company’s culture from the outside, but there are a few indicators, such as the vision and mission statement, which you can usually find on the company website. These will give you a first impression of the values of a company in terms of its purpose and ethics.
A few questions to ask yourself:
- Do the values of the company match your own values?
- Do you work best in smaller or larger teams?>
- Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?
- Do you prefer routine or change?
Conservative company cultures value traditional hierarchical structures while younger, more cutting-edge companies often value innovation, collaboration and new ideas over routine. Social functions and team-building exercises also play a part here.
How to find the right fit
This is about finding a personality match between who you are and what the company culture entails. Your personality and values will determine whether you’re a good fit for the company and whether the company is a good fit for you. For example, introverted people may be more productive in a cubicle or office with limited noise while extroverted people may prefer an open office with lots of interaction.
More ambitious people may prefer a fast-paced, high-pressure work environment with cut-throat competition while less ambitious people may find this kind of company culture intimidating. Similarly, more creative employees may thrive under a looser work structure that allows for creative leeway and an open exchange of ideas.
Which type of company culture could you see yourself thriving in? Before you sign a contract, give this some thought. Remember to ask questions in the job interview in order to get an idea of the company culture beforehand too. Need some tips on what to ask? Consider reading: 10 Questions YOU Should Ask During a Job Interview.
Why is it so important?
Working within a company culture that is wrong for you can end up limiting your potential and productivity. More importantly, it can affect your job satisfaction, which can lead to you hating your job, always complaining and generally feeling unfulfilled. The right fit, on the other hand, can result in personal and professional growth, as well as upward mobility in the company and industry.
So don’t make a rash decision. Do your research, ask people about the organisation and find out everything you can. Often it can be difficult to know the company culture until you are actually a part of the organisation. By that stage, you could feel like it’s too late, but it isn’t.
You can always evaluate your options, switch careers and embark on a different path by upskilling through a distance learning course.