What is Company Culture?
As a recruiter I often hear the question, “How’s the Company Culture?” What exactly does this question mean? How do you define a company’s culture and how do the different cultures vary?
The “culture” of a company consists of the values and practices shared by those that work there. Typically, they are instilled by the leaders of the business. I find, that the best way to describe the company culture is to say “it’s the personality” of the company. In other words, the qualities that make the company unique. As a job seeker, you are tasked with determining if the company personality is a match with your own.
Company culture is typically made up of these 6 points:
Mission – What a company does and how it will be accomplished.
In order to be successful, a company must have a clear cut understanding of its core services and products and how they are going to best deliver them to the public. Most often this includes creating several cohesive statements that support what the company leaders believe in.
Value – The standard of behavior.
Does the company value equality, respect, consistency, and high standards? Many companies will put together a code of behavior/professionalism in order to uphold their values internally and externally. It will hold leaders and staff accountable for their actions that are not in line with the values of the company.
Ethics - Principles that govern a person’s behavior.
Companies that promote ethics often create high standards. They do not accept mediocrity in the workplace or close their eyes to unacceptable behavior. They set standards of a respectful workplace and professional behavior internally and externally.
Expectations - What a company / person (will / should) achieve.
If a company doesn’t have clear expectations and direction of where it wants to be in 5, 10 or even 15 years then it’s almost a guarantee that its staff will lack direction. In order to support a positive, growing, and educational culture there has to be professional and personal expectations.
Goals – A desired result of ambition or effort.
All companies need goals; but only a few have them or better yet, accomplish them. A strong desire for growth and change are typically what prompts the creation of goals. Goals are a way of disciplining ourselves to do better.
Environment – All the things that create an employee’s involvement with the work itself.
This includes things of importance like location, parking, office space, technology, benefits, perks, and people. How well do people get along? Does the staff seem happy, friendly, and positive? Or do they seem unhappy and frustrated? A positive environment leads to increased productivity and to a positive company culture.
The “Company Culture” encompasses many important aspects. However, by doing your research and asking good questions about the company’s employee handbook, mentor program, performance expectations, and employee development program you can determine the type of culture that exists and if it will be a good fit for you.
About: Lisa Satonick
In addition to my passion for recruiting and helping others succeed, I have 20 years of experience as a Human Resource professional. With a proven track record of strong generalist experience, my areas of expertise include employee relations, compliance, benefits administration, and recruiting. Prior to Staffing Solutions, I held positions that included HR Manager with Barnes Wendling CPAs, HR Resource Line Specialist with the Employers Resource Council (ERC), HR Generalist with the National Association of College Stores, and HR Administrator with Lear, a manufacturer of seats for Ford Motor Company. I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and maintain a certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) through the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).