Company Culture - what it really means and why you should care about it

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What is company culture and why is it important?

When you’re job hunting or thinking about your future career, you’ll often see the phrases ‘company culture’ or ‘company values’ being used in job ads and on company profiles. These phrases can be confusing and it can be difficult to see the connection between a company’s culture or morals and your enjoyment working there. Many graduates don’t even consider the impact these factors can have on their career journey.

So, what is the purpose of company culture? A company culture exists to unify colleagues. A successful company culture model brings colleagues together and gives them a common purpose, a common set of values and a common way of thinking and working together. It’s the guiding motivation or mission behind every person’s work. Furthermore, culture usually incorporates the company’s values as well. These are usually a set of beliefs that a company cares about and works towards promoting within their business. In short, company culture often represents the “why” behind the company’s operations.

We’re here to show you that it helps to know what a company cares about! Where you work should support who you are and the causes that you believe in and it’s important that you feel that you can bring your whole self to work, whether you’re a member of a minority group or if you’re an ally. Company culture can also impact the working style of a business, and it's important that you work somewhere that suits you and your approach.

How do I know what culture suits me?

Knowing what company culture is and why it’s important is one thing, finding out which type of company culture suits you and what values to look out for whilst job searching, is another. However, there are some practical things you can do to help you with this. Before beginning your job search:

  1.  Write down things that matter to you - these can be hobbies, political beliefs, passions or people you admire

  2. Understand the way you work - a company’s culture can also affect the working style of its employees, so understanding how you work best is important, this could vary from the time you like to work to whether you prefer working alone or in a team

  3. Use your experiences - if you  have completed work experience or an internship at a company where you felt like you fit in, research their company culture and values and use these as a benchmark when looking for new positions

  4. Think of the bigger picture - if there’s a company you admire or would love to work for, research their company culture and try to understand what about their ethos is attractive or impressive to you 

Going through these steps and having this knowledge in the forefront of your mind helps you to know what you’re looking for and to decide whether a company’s list of values match yours. You can learn more about self-awareness and figuring out what you care about in this Meet The Expert session on the topic. 

How can I find out what a company’s culture is? What are some real life examples of company culture?

Refer to your JobTeaser Platform!

Most companies will be open and honest about their culture and their values. You can usually find this information on their JobTeaser company profiles, websites or social media channels. When it comes to company values, a lot of companies will have Diversion and Inclusion departments or officers. These departments and employees are responsible for the diversity of a company and ensuring that all employees from a minority community are looked after, supported and protected by the company and its culture.  

On the JobTeaser platform, companies have a cultures and values section on their profile. Some examples of company culture include:

  • Amazon - Amazon describes their company culture as putting the customer first and operating using a “day 1” mindset, always striving to be more innovative and make fast, smart decisions 

  • Bloomberg - Bloomberg talks about their four core values that are the foundation of their continued success: innovation, collaboration, customer service and doing the right thing

  • Nike - Nike believes in the transformative power of sport and their desire to have teams that reflect the diversity of their customer base and creating a culture of inclusivity

  • HubSpot - HubSpot describes their inclusive company culture where employees have the flexibility and support to do their best work along with H.E.A.R.T., an acronym they use to capture the qualities that they believe make for great co-workers: Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, Transparent

You can find our Pride Month 2020 blog posts here, where we asked some of our company partners how they supported and protected their LGBTQIA+ employees. The initiatives outlined in these blog posts are some great examples of company culture and values in action.

Use LinkedIn

Connecting with employees that work at a prospective company on LinkedIn and asking them about company culture, work style and values can also be a good way to gain a real insight into what it's really like to work somewhere. You can find out more about how to reach out to people on LinkedIn in this Meet The Expert session

Research

Finally, most companies will also have videos and blog posts that talk more in depth about their company values and culture. These often include interviews with employees that provide you with personal and specific insights into what it’s really like to work at a company and what they really care about. You can usually find these resources on a company's social media, such as their LinkedIn or YouTube pages.

Moving forward with your job search 

So, now you know company culture and values are important, make sure it’s something you consider whilst job hunting and beyond. The more you agree with a company’s mission, motivations and values, the more you will enjoy working there. It can also help you get the job, as values and culture are great things to talk about in an interview because it shows you’ve done your research and also helps you to present yourself as a match for the company. 

We hope this has helped to demystify company culture and provided you with some food for thought as you continue on your career journey!

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