Company culture is a hotter-than-ever term. A business needs it. Recruiters flaunt it. Employees desire it. But what is corporate or company culture, truly? Why is it trending now? Most importantly, why should you care about it when you’re looking for a job?
You may have heard of organizational culture during a high school or college business class. It’s a complicated recipe of a definition, and we will use that metaphor to help us add a few ingredients for the final dish.
A traditional definition of culture is the beliefs and behaviors that determine how people interact with each other. It’s the norms and customs that mold ways of thinking and methodologies for a certain group of people. It’s patterns and characteristics. It’s attitudes and shared values.
When we apply culture specifically to a workplace, it signifies how employees interact with each other. It’s what the group believes in and the center of their identity. How this identity blends with the mission, vision and values of the company is the company culture. At this point, culture usually blends with performance and morale. The final product is the brilliant soufflé of company culture.
Company culture has become a buzzword as of late, and I believe that’s because in today’s competitive environment, companies realize they must create an attractive workplace with a variety of health, wealth and wellbeing benefits in order to attract and retain top talent. Strong culture strengthens the company’s brand and attracts intelligent individuals to the workforce. In the HR world, there’s been a mythical “fight for top talent” over the last few years as the economy turned around and people have more employment options. If you don’t have a strong corporate culture, you will lose candidates to companies that do.
I encourage you to think about these points as you search for gainful employment in this field, and in this world. To begin with, you’ll likely be spending the majority of your waking hours at your place of employment. When the company culture matches your values, it creates an exciting office. When it doesn’t, it’s defeating. You want to work somewhere where people want to be. This is a sign of an engaged workforce. Engaged workforces have less turnover and more loyalty.
On top of that, workplaces with an engaging culture are usually fun and exciting. Positive energy and opportunity abound. Teams are more seamlessly integrated into their roles and their work, and individuals come together to support each other in achieving those similar goals. When goals are met, the company is successful. Productivity is a sign of a healthy corporate culture. More often than not, it’s also a sign of quality products and service.
When you’re applying to companies, be sure to assess how you fit within the culture. Can you see yourself integrating into the team? What does the company value? Are you aligned to those values and can you see them fitting into your everyday life if you were to go work there? While there will be no guide to the company culture handed to you in the recruiting process, asking these questions of yourself will help ensure that you’re setting yourself for a vibrant career at a company with a healthy and engaging company culture.
For more than four decades, Design Workshop has provided landscape architecture, planning, urban design and strategic services to clients in North America and throughout the world. We are committed to creating special places that meet today's needs and that are sustainable environments for all time. We believe that when environment, art, community and economics are combined with the dictates of the land and the needs of society, magical places result—sustainable places of timeless beauty, significant value and enduring quality, places that lift the spirit. We have developed a methodology called DW Legacy Design®. This proprietary process seeks to imbue every project with a balance between environmental sensitivity, community connection, artistic beauty and economic viability that demonstrates measureable results.