Company culture is a lot of things, put together by a shared history. A co-developed tradition which defines the personality of an organization. Company cultures draws upon a lot of things, while affecting them at the same time. It draws from the work environment, yet influences it. It starts with founders, yet ultimately affects them. The list could go on. Company culture is the personality of your company.
In fact, company culture is a mix of everything from CSR to strategic planning and setting goals. Add to this inside jokes, communal values, and shared expectations. Corporate culture matters. And, what’s more, it matters how well you fit with the company culture. It makes a world of difference.
Why fitting with the company culture is a big deal
Motivating people the right way can have impressive results. No wonder building a strong company culture benefits everyone. Sure, you can play first fiddle and lead by example. Company culture, however, is the bass-line of motivating people.
Company culture is built with sharing stories that support corporate strategies. These stories are powerful and affect teamwork and individual performance. In fact, leaders at all levels are to play on these stories and enforce their role.
Creating a common narrative strengthens company culture. And that is what floats the ship. Because motivated people perform better. They produce higher quality work and they have better results quantitatively.
And there’s more to the matter. With the right company culture, motivation becomes contagious. We already know that goal contagion is a secret productivity booster, and that it works. Any amount of displayed positivity affects coworkers in like manner. People perceive what they pursue.
What matter the most, however, is convergence. Some people would have never performed the way they did in a different company culture. Think Steve Jobs working for General Electric. A revolutionary approach to a traditionalist corporate culture. Either something dramatic would’ve happened or nothing at all.
Converging is what happens when the employee and the company culture are in tune. It’s the harmony between the individual instrument and the backline. And not having that harmony results in a whole range of issues for everyone involved. So here are 3 ways to figure out how you fit with the company culture.
1. Check out who sets the company culture tone
One of the easiest way to see where you stand in relation to your company culture is to get to know your manager.
Start with your interview. Prepare some questions for your manager. In fact, suggest that you split the interview time in half. You should both be able to ask some questions. And not just questions that can clarify your eventual situation. For example, don’t just ask about your working conditions. Instead, go as far as interviewing your future manager. So ask them why they’ve become a manager. Ask them their opinion on the Peter principle. Perhaps even ask them what they value most in a team. Or what they think their role in a team should be.
And don’t stop here. Give your future manager some puzzles. Ask for solutions for various situations. How would they fire someone? Or perhaps, what’s their take on training budgets. Last but not least, ask for several delegation examples. Check out how your manager delegates, ask for a sample. Ridiculous? Perhaps. But you clearly don’t want to be stuck on the wrong end of any of these.
Even if the company culture is all about the team, managers do matter. They’re the ones evaluating your performance. To say nothing of controlling work flows, or delegating to team decisions. Make this experience matter. See if you click.
2. Look for company culture trends in the team
It might sound like you’re about to interview your whole team, but you don’t have to. Instead, try to get closer and blend in on any occasion. Some teams have a monthly boardgame night or some manner of going out for drinks. See how well you like these people out of work. Are you getting along well? If yes, go ahead and do one more.
Make sure you’re part of all team activities – whether it’s team building exercises or meetings. Most often, meetings are painfully boring. Should your team run decent-to-ok meetings, you’re set. You can see how they interact and how you’d fit. In fact, any meeting will be rather team-revealing. You will see the over-talkatives and the silent types. And you will notice who comes prepared and who improvises. Most of all, however, you will see how they’re glued together as a team. In fact, try and see how you can be useful in meetings.
3. Try a little self-analysis
It all boils down to who you are and what you really want. Hence, take some time to consider what motivates you. What drives your decisions and what makes you happy.
To be fair, happiness at work is something that positively impacts everyone. Happiness at work boosts productivity, work value, health, and well-being. Working in a place that makes you happy might just be the way to go.
There’s more to the matter. Take a moment now and visualize your perfect work day. The way things should be to make your day optimal for productivity. Is THIS environment similar to THAT environment? If the company culture helps you maximize productivity at work, then great. You’re a fit.
Fitting in with company culture can drive your success and happiness at work. It can dramatically improve your performance and well-being. The opposite holds true. Hence, always check how well you fit in. It makes all the difference in the world.