When it comes to personal and career development, organizational culture is often overshadowed by salary considerations and job titles. While these things are essential, culture can significantly shape your work experience, professional growth, and overall satisfaction.
In this article, we’ll delve into why company culture matters and how it can affect your decisions on whether you should work for a company.
What Is Company Culture?
Company culture is considered as the company’s personality. It includes the values, beliefs, and behaviors that determine how the company’s employees and management interact. It shapes how people talk to each other, how they address one another, how they dress, what values they share, and what behaviors are encouraged. For instance, some companies might have a formal, strict culture where everyone wears suits, follows strict schedules, and has clear hierarchies. Others might be more casual, with flexible hours, a relaxed atmosphere, and a very open and transparent way of communication.
Each company has its unique traits and ways of doing things, contributing to the overall persona and character of the organization. The significance of a positive workplace culture in your career decision-making process cannot be overstated. As it impacts your daily interactions, well-being, career growth, and alignment with personal values, looking for a company that treats their employees well should be one of your priorities. Let’s explore this in more detail:
Why You Should Consider Company Culture in Your Career Search
The significance of a positive workplace culture in your career decision-making process cannot be overstated. As it impacts your daily interactions, well-being, career growth, and alignment with personal values, looking for a company that treats their employees well should be one of your priorities. Let’s explore this in more detail:
1. It Improves Engagement and Satisfaction
Organizational culture has a direct correlation with employee engagement. A study by Deloitte found that 82 percent of respondents believe a distinct workplace culture is vital to business success.¹
When your organization values respect, diversity, and well-being, it reflects your job satisfaction and engagement. A prime example is Google, whose culture emphasizes creativity and innovation.
What We Can Learn from Google
Google was ranked 6th in the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2020, demonstrating its commitment to a positive and rewarding workplace.² Furthermore, Google’s high employee retention rate of over 90 percent and 85 percent of employees reporting high job satisfaction exemplify the positive impact of a nurturing culture.
These factors contribute to Google’s reputation for lower stress levels and higher job satisfaction among its workforce, highlighting how a supportive workplace culture can significantly enhance engagement and satisfaction.
2. It Promotes Professional Growth and Development
Organizations with a culture of continuous learning and development foster better career progression opportunities.
LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report revealed that 94 percent of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their learning and development.³ This is evident in companies like Amazon, which offers programs like Career Choice, which pre-pays 95 percent of tuition for courses in high-demand fields.⁴ These initiatives help employees further enhance their skills and improve satisfaction through supporting personal and professional growth development.
3. It Improves Innovation and Creativity
Companies that foster innovation and creativity create an environment that empowers employees to take risks, experiment, and share ideas without fear of judgment. A culture that encourages open communication and values both successes and failures as learning opportunities is key to promoting innovation.
This atmosphere benefits individual employees and contributes significantly to the organization’s success and competitiveness. As a professional looking for the next great opportunity, finding a workplace that embraces innovation can offer exciting opportunities for professional growth.
4. It Improves Well-being
Employee well-being is paramount in a positive corporate culture. Workplace stress adversely affects productivity and costs employers significant healthcare costs. A McKinney Study reveals that job control, or the amount of discretion employees have over their work, considerably impacts both physical and mental health.⁵
Employers that provide autonomy, control, social connections, and support can greatly enhance the well-being of their employees, reducing burnout and turnover. Remember, you’ll spend significant time at work, so consider prioritizing companies that invest in wellness programs and support a positive work environment.
5. It Creates a Sense of Belonging
Belonging in a workplace is a critical factor that most people overlook, and it starts with being accepted and valued for who you are.
According to research by Great Place to Work, employees who experience belonging are more likely to look forward to coming to work, find their workplace fun, and believe in fair treatment.⁶ Finding a sense of belonging is one of the top three reasons employees stay with a company, making it an essential factor for job seekers.
Assessing Organizational Culture During Your Job Search
Evaluating an organization’s culture can be challenging during a job search. By following the strategies highlighted below, you can quickly identify employers with a good company culture.
1. Research the Company’s Values
Before diving into the application process, take the time to understand the organization’s core values. A company’s values are often prominently featured on its website. These values provide insight into the guiding principles that shape the company’s decisions, actions, and overall culture.
Ask yourself whether these values resonate with your own beliefs and priorities. For instance, a company that emphasizes innovation and collaboration may suggest a dynamic and team-oriented culture.
2. Read Employee Testimonials
Employee testimonials are invaluable resources that offer a glimpse into the real experiences of individuals within the company. Platforms like Glassdoor, LinkedIn, or even a simple Google search can yield reviews and comments from current and former employees.
Pay attention to recurring themes in these testimonials, such as comments on work-life balance, leadership style, growth opportunities, and overall management. On the other hand, be mindful of disgruntled employees leaving negative comments. Consider the patterns or extreme remarks before concluding your observations.
3. Ask the Right Interview Questions
When the interviewer allows you, ask questions that go beyond the standard inquiries about job responsibilities. Ask about the company’s approach to professional development, team dynamics, and how they handle challenges. You can ask questions like:
- “Can you describe the company’s approach to employee development and learning opportunities?”
- “How would you characterize the team dynamics within the organization?”
- “Can you share an example of how the company promotes work-life balance?”
The responses to these questions will provide valuable insights into the organization’s values and employees’ day-to-day experiences.
Related article: Positive Engagement: 4 Ways to Ask Questions in Job Interviews
4. Look out for the Organization’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
Assessing the level of diversity and inclusion within a company is crucial in understanding its culture. A diverse workforce contributes to a richer and more innovative environment. Look for information on the company’s diversity policies, inclusion initiatives, and representation in leadership positions. A commitment to diversity fosters a more welcoming culture and indicates a forward-thinking and progressive organization.
5. Explore Company Events and Initiatives
A company’s involvement in community events, social initiatives, and employee engagement programs shows its commitment to a positive and inclusive culture. Look for information about volunteer programs, team-building activities, or diversity and inclusion initiatives.
Companies actively participating in such activities demonstrate a broader perspective beyond day-to-day operations. Additionally, participation in community events may suggest a commitment to social responsibility and a sense of purpose beyond profit.
Making Informed Decisions on Your Next Employment
Corporate culture is a critical factor that can shape your career path. As you navigate your job search, prioritize companies that align with your values and offer a culture conducive to your professional and personal growth. The right fit for you is about more than just the job itself; it’s about finding a place where you can thrive.
In a world where job roles are constantly evolving, the constant will always be the culture within which you work. So, make it a priority to seek out and choose employers that value employees and their contributions.
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE YOUR CAREER TO NEW HEIGHTS IN A WORKPLACE WITH A POSITIVE COMPANY CULTURE?
At Strategic Systems, we specialize in aligning your skills and preferences with the perfect job opportunity. Whether you’re eyeing a role in tech, finance, banking, or engineering, we offer a range of options, including direct placement, contract roles, and outsourcing opportunities. We commit to your career growth, ensuring each placement reflects your ambitions and values.
Join the multitude of professionals who’ve found their calling through Strategic Systems. Let us be the catalyst for your next career leap. Contact us today and explore the possibilities that await!
1. Bacic, William. “The Importance of Workplace Culture.” Deloitte, www2.deloitte.com/the-importance-of-workplace-culture.. 5 Dec. 2023
2. Castillo, Lorena. “Must-Know Google Employment Statistics [Current Data].” Gitnux, 14 Dec. 2023, blog.gitnux.com/google-employment-statistics.
3. “2020 Workplace Learning Report.” LinkedIn, 2020, learning.linkedin.com/workplace-learning-report-2020.
4. “What is Amazon Career Choice?” Amazon, 11 Feb. 2023, www.aboutamazon.com/news/workplace/career-choice.
5. Pfeffer, Jeffrey. ” The Overlooked Essentials of Employee Well-Being.” McKinsey & Company, 11 Sep. 2018, www.mckinsey.com/the-overlooked-essentials-of-employee-well-being.
6. Bond, Tony. “Belonging in the Workplace: What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter?” Great Place To Work, 16 Jun. 2022, www.greatplacetowork.com/belonging-in-the-workplace-what-does-it-mean-and-why-does-it-matter.