Most of us have to go to work every day, but unfortunately not everyone enjoys what they do. We spend so much time at our jobs that it’s important to find the one that fits who we are. One major factor that determines how happy we’ll be is company culture.
Company culture encompasses the personality of a company; the company atmosphere which is built on a company’s values, mission, and employee interaction.
Company culture is made up of things such as:
- How formal is the management structure is
- How casual the workplace atmosphere is
- How aggressive they are in growth
- How much risk they take expanding into new fields
- Whether fellow employees are just coworkers or good friends
- How hectic deadlines are
None of the above examples are good or bad in themselves; it all boils down to preference. Let’s look at two fictional companies:
- Headquarters in New York, NY
- 5,000 employees
- Clear cut line of communication with the management chain
- Business attire required
- 50+ hour work weeks
- Employees have individual office space
- Employees typically do not socialize outside of work
- Deadlines are constant, critical, and quick turnaround
- A small office in rural Iowa
- 25 employees
- Any employee can walk in and talk to any member of management at any time: a real “open door policy”
- Jeans and t-shirts are the standard
- Typical 40 hour work week
- Co-workers gather on the weekends
- Office is a large, shared workspace
- Deadlines are important, but well planned with ample time for revision and implementation
Now let’s look at two fictional employees:
- Highly ambitious, driven, “workaholic”
- Highly competitive
- Rigid, desires well defined duties and chain of command
- Totally professional in appearance and demeanor
- Has a definite goal for where her career is going and has set milestones for salary and promotions to get there
- Enjoys the freedom to brainstorm new ideas over time
- Prioritizes the team succeeding as a whole over personal ambition
- Likes to drop in on the boss to ask a question or just have a friendly chat
- Prefers jeans and sneakers
- Is less concerned about the end point of their career and is more concerned with having a great work/life balance along the way
Now obviously, Employee A would not be happy at Company B. She’d likely feel unchallenged, not serious enough, and that she was wasting time. On the other hand, Employee B would likely have a stress induced breakdown and get quickly burnt out working for Company A. So neither of the companies or employees are “good” or “bad”; it’s simply a matter of choosing the company culture that best suits them.
For the sake of simplicity both examples were extremes. In the real world things are seldom so cut-and-dry and there is going to be a lot of overlap. Because both people and businesses are dynamic entities, there are unlimited combinations for each of these traits. Take Google, for example. Google is now a HUGE company but they are known for preserving their “small business feel”. They prize productivity while also encouraging creativity and innovation. They promote fun on their Google “campuses” while also competing aggressively on a global scale.
Zekiah Tech – We Know Who We Are
Similarly, Zekiah Technologies can, at first, appear to be a contradiction. We’re a small business founded in Southern Maryland but we support big clients such as the U.S. Navy and U.S Coast Guard.
Our employees are split between many offices, but we publish often on our community Facebook page and employee intranet to bring everyone together.
We’re actively pursuing new contracts for concentrated growth but we also encourage each of our employees to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Our deadlines are mission-critical, with potential life-or-death outcomes, but we give our employees the right training, support, and reasonable timelines to succeed at those deadlines.
And even though we do serious work, we love to have FUN. Some of the fun things Zekiah has done recently are: Baseball outings, Trunk-or-Treat, lunch socials, a community drawing board, and the Grinch in a Pinch (Zekiah’s version of the Elf on a Shelf) for the holidays.
One of the heavier weighted factors when we hire is if this person a good fit for our company culture. We want people who WANT to be with us and we feel that should be an important part of every job seeker’s checklist as well.
Who are YOU?
Do you have an opinion you’d like to share about your experiences with company culture? Drop us a line!
- What are some things about your former or current company’s culture that really fit with who you are?
- What are some things that don’t?
- What is your version of an ideal company culture?
This post was written by Tina Entzian
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