How Company Culture Can Improve Your Overall Life
Aligning yourself with a great company culture setting can make you happy with your job.
Culture is a buzzword in the corporate world today.
At Design & Construct, we hear it all the time.
We have also come to understand that culture is one of the most important elements for connecting talented jobseekers with quality employers.
When employees leave a company or when employees are let go from a company it is often a result of a culture clash between the two parties.
Yes, there are instances when the employee may not be up to par with expectations or maybe the employee left because of a new opportunity, but for the most part culture is a major reason things don't work out.
Think of the employee-employer relationship like a personal relationship. The person you decide to spend the rest of your life with needs to meet strict criteria and so should the company you choose to work for in the long-term.
Culture is about more than just a few similar interests. Here is what you need to look for and why…
Company Culture Criteria
When choosing your life partner you go through a list of personal criteria. You may or may not consciously think about specific things, but you go through your list as you get to know the person.
The biggest items you check off the list are how your values align with the other person's.
Your values are the things that are most important to you in life. These are the things you talk about most and even more importantly the things you do most often.
Values often involve family, community and the things that give you the most happiness in life. We all know that unless our significant other shares the same values as us that we won't be happy.
That's how it works with your employer, but we often overlook the importance of shared values.
The best way to learn about a company culture is to read articles that quote the company leaders. Listen to the way people talk about the company. Listen specifically to stories people share about the company.
It's usually possible to pick up on what is most important to the company and the people that work there.
If you're lucky you probably have an idea of how your life will be in 5, 10 and 20 years. Many of us would like to work for the same company for that long while settling down in an area that makes our family and us happy.
This dream or vision for life is the next criteria for finding the ideal employer.
If the employer has high turnover it likely won't fit with the vision mentioned above. If you are looking for that long-term security you'll want an employer that places value on employee development.
At Design & Construct, we're finding that employers are being more selective with the people they hire. But these same employers are looking for people that can be part of the team for a lifetime.
These firms will hire people and work to align the professional and personal vision with that of the company. This might require the company to make sure that you have opportunity to expand your role and grow as an employee.
Some people are satisfied doing the same job for 10 or 20 years, but others need room to grow. As a jobseeker, you'll want to find a company that allows for your specific vision and dream. If the vision does not align with yours then chances are you'll be disappointed and unhappy in a few years when things don't work out as you had planned or had hoped.
The next item for finding a great company culture is the company personality.
Usually companies have certain personality types that mesh well together. Successful companies don't have one specific type of personality – quirky, conservative, progressive, etc. – but the people in the company often have similar personalities. It's often what allows them to work well together.
You're not looking for people that are exactly like yourself in every way. You're looking to share a few important values as we mentioned above and making sure there is nothing that would make you detest working with others.
You can usually pick up on the company personality by meeting with your potential boss. The boss often reflects on who the entire staff is as far as personality.
Share a few stories with the person. Get to know them. You'll be able to tell if your personality meshes with theirs and if there could potentially be a good fit for what you're looking for from a company.
Quality of Work and Personal Life
We all often joke about spending so much time with people at work that it might as well be a second marriage.
It's funny to think about, but when you really put your career into perspective you gain the understanding that your happiness at your job affects your happiness in the rest of your life.
Being happy, challenged and driven at your job will give you more energy and excitement about life. When you wake up in the morning eager to get to work you'll be a better person to be around.
It's a positive output for your family and friends.
When we talk about looking forward to going to work we don't mean that you work all kinds of hours leaving no time for your family. By finding the right place to work you'll have the ideal work/life balance for yourself.
We're finding that the work/life balance is becoming more of a mixed area in life. People have mobile devices are electronic connections that always keep them connected to work when they're at home and connected to home when they are at work.
If family is important to you it might be a priority of yours to find a firm willing to be flexible with you taking time for family calls during the day if necessary. The firm will be flexible with this knowing that you're likely to check email or messages while at home before going to bed each night or first thing in the morning.
The criteria we mentioned in the previous section will ensure you're working in an environment where you're around people that you get along with and that challenge you to be the best person you can be at work and even outside work.
People generally like to be challenged to succeed in life. We respect others that push us to do our best. We may not always like it at the time, but we respect it because it allows us to achieve things we may not have otherwise achieved in another setting.
When you achieve things in your professional life it gives you a sense of satisfaction. This permeates through your entire life. You have more confidence when meeting with friends, family and new people you meet.
When you're happy and satisfied with your work life you'll achieve more and you'll typically be happier in your personal life.
You'll spend much of your life around the people you work with. It's important to treat company culture just as you would treat a personal relationship.
As we mentioned above, we find that sharing stories with a potential employer helps you get a feeling for the company culture.
If you are unsure about what you would like from a potential employer, talk with your friends and family. Talk to the people you know that love their job and that seem happy in all aspects of life.
Ask them about their jobs and their employers. See if you can pick up on the details that make the relationship a successful one.
You'll probably find that it's the company culture that fits well with the person's own values and interests.
If you pick up on the dynamic of happy people you should find things that would make you happy in life and in work. Look for your own values. They may align with your friends' values, but make sure you have a priority of what's important to you.
Once you have that understanding you'll know what to look for in a future employer.
As you look for your next job opportunity, place a high importance on company culture. It can seem trivial, but for many people the culture fit of the company can be even more important than salary and benefits.
The old cliché is that you can't put a price on happiness. Well, it's true. You can't compete with a company that makes you happy at work and happy in your personal life.
At Design & Construct, we've worked with thousands of jobseekers and hundreds of employers in the design and construction industry. Our experience has shown us that cultural fit is often a determinant in how long the employee and employer relationship lasts.
We believe in making cultural fits and we prove it by giving a 12-month guarantee on every candidate we place. If the person leaves the company within the first 12 months we guarantee that we'll find a replacement free of charge.
If you're looking for a great job and a life that makes you happy then look at company culture during your job search.