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Workplace culture can be somewhat difficult to precisely define. The term is used to describe the personality of a company or organization.  Much like how you would explain the character of a certain individual, workplace culture is the blend of values, traditions, behaviors, assumptions, and attitudes that make up the environment of the workplace.  Company culture is generally unspoken and can be derived by the way employees feel on the job.


When seeking a career, an often overlooked area is how positive a workplace culture is; and this mistake will surely come back to haunt you.  Because we spend a good chunk of our lives at work, if you do not find that your personality fits well within the place you are employed at, your productivity and eventually happiness will be severely impacted.


Businesses have a high stake in creating a good workplace culture.  Most smart managers know that an organization which values employees regardless of their position or skills will in the long run positively affect its bottom line.  Areas that are noticeably impacted include:

  • Quality of work
  • Good employee retention
  • High morale
  • Well regarded business reputation
  • High standard of excellence

Furthermore, you will find that organizations which offer a healthy workplace culture also have employees that work in teams rather than individually to meet the businesses’ needs.


Benchmarks To Look Out For

Everyone will agree that it takes a whole lot of effort to search for a job that fits well with your educational and professional background.  However, equally as important is to do ample research on the organization’s culture to make sure that it would be a good fit for your personality.  There are various ways you can get some insight to help you reach a final conclusion.


First, you should have a thorough look at the business website and all social media venues where you are thinking of applying to.  Try to locate the “About Us” section and peruse through any job listings that may be available.  Oftentimes, you can get a sense of culture by reading the ads and finding out what the responsibilities and priorities are for the given job.


Another way to get a good sense of company culture is to seek out current and even past employees.  LinkedIn can provide one of the best resources to contact individuals for some questions and details of how life on the inside was/is for them.  Firsthand accounts can give you the best insight in deciding if you would match well at the particular business environment.


Third, many of your questions regarding workplace culture can be answered during the interview meeting. Whether it’s a phone interview or in person, you can address your concerns at this time. This discussion can certainly provide you opportunities, especially if you are lucky enough to meet with more than one person, to inquiry about various subjects such as:

  • What is the mission and values of the organization?
  • Do employees work as a close team or is work more likely individual?
  • How often is there a performance review and are any awards associated with it?
  • What is the usual route for promotion?
  • Are employees offered work-from-home options?

Finally, you could always come out straight and ask what the hiring manager’s opinion is about the current workplace culture.  The information you receive would likely be very telling and useful in your decision making.


The bottom-line is that you never want to work in a place where the work environment does not mesh well with your lifestyle and personality.  For these reasons, you should spend time in your search for jobs to also consider what it would be like for you to work in any particular organization.  Make sure your values align closely with the business and the people understand you well.


Looking to take the next step in your career? Contact Atlas Consulting Group, one of the leading IT recruitment agencies in NYC, Philadelphia and New Jersey.

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