If your company is a real person, he will exhibit a particular personality. This personality is seen not only on how he handles his customers but also about how he interacts internally and externally. On an internal level, it is how he interacts with other employees. While on the external level, it is how he interacts with other businesses and stakeholders. The summed up the personality of a company is known as the company culture. This is the perspective, mindset and overall vibe of the company.
Why is Company Culture Important?
If you are working for a company that doesn't resonate with your own values, you'll find that you will be quite unhappy. This is because one can only excel in a company culture that he is compatible with. It is the same as working with other companies through collaborative efforts. The culture must mesh well or at least understand each other so that they can have a good relationship.
What are the Different Types of Company Cultures?
There are different types of cultures. Here is a list of the most common ones. Try to see where your company fits in.
1. Traditional Culture
In this setup, the approach is top-down. This means that every decision that comes from the top management is passed down and executed in the bottom part of the company. This is called the traditional approach because this is how old companies work. There is a boss and a manager and that person takes care of the assignment of tasks in the company environment.
2. Team First Culture
In this type of culture, the priority is the team. The focus is on employee happiness and interaction with each other. It is about working together towards a goal and having frequent company outings, and meetings to listen to employees' needs. These companies look for people who fit the team instead of looking at their skills. If they see that the person fits the team, that's the only time the person is assessed for his skills and competencies.
3. Elite Culture
In this type of company culture, the company takes pride in being the best of its kind. This means that the company doesn't settle for any type of employees and hires only the best. Employees take pride with the fact that they are chosen from the many who wanted to apply and the focus is on results and confidence. It is not common that employees often compete with each other in this setting. This is because competition is highly encouraged. People are rewarded based on their skills and talents and they may even get promoted out of their sheer skills. Social skills are secondary in this type of setup.
4. Horizontal Culture
This is the complete opposite of the traditional culture that has a top-down approach to everything. Instead, everyone in this setup are on equal footing and they can freely share ideas when needed. This type of culture is prevalent in new companies that aim to collaborate on ideas. Processes are also not as formalized so there are plenty of room to be creative.
5. Transitional Culture
This happens when your company faces a huge change and your employees don't know how to deal with it. There can be a gap between your existing culture and the proposed culture. This can happen in companies who are undergoing mergers and acquisition. This is the most unstable type out of the bunch but it is important that you know this for you will never know when change will happen to your company.
Those are the five types of company culture. Where does yours fit in? If you still can’t figure out what your culture is from this list, don’t worry. I got you covered. In the next section, you’ll learn to validate your ideas on your company culture through further research.
How to Know Your Company's Culture
Now that you have an idea on your company's culture, it is time to validate it. It is not enough that you look at the different types of culture and define the culture that your company have. You should also do your own research. Here are some steps to do that.
STEP 1: Start with the Company Website
The website of your company can show you what your company is all about. You'll somehow feel the vibe of your company right off the bat. This can be seen in the colors and images used in your website. Formal websites usually have a top-down or traditional approach while bright and colorful websites usually have a horizontal or team-focused approach.
STEP 2: Look at Business Magazines
The website will only give you a peek of what your company's culture is. You still have to look at business magazines and websites to know what other companies are saying about your website. Sometimes, you'll need an outside opinion to validate your company culture.
STEP 3: Don't be Afraid to Ask
People are the best sources of information. So if you want to validate your culture, the best way is to ask them. The people that I am pertaining to are not only the people in your company. This also includes customers and other stakeholders. These are people who interact with your company on a regular basis. Ask them about the vibe of your company. Ask what they think about your culture. This will further validate your observations in the previous steps.
STEP 4: Join the Company
You can only get an idea of the company's culture if you are inside it. So if you are not yet hired in the company that you are studying, it may be best to ask if you can join the team to understand the processes inside the company. The goal here is to understand the social dynamics and culture of the company.
Researching the company culture will help you determine if you are a good fit to the company. Working for a company that is not the same as your personality can prove to be troublesome. You need to work for a company that resonates with your unique way of working.
10 Examples of Great Company Culture?
When someone mentions company culture, the first company that comes to mind is Google. This is because they changed the way work is done by creating more interactive and wellness-oriented work spaces. They don't only provide an office. They also offer free food, indoor courts, massages, office space and reasonable paychecks. They are often commended by their employees for their dedication to their people. This is the reason why the company is now one of the most sought-after companies today with over 3 million resumes received per year.
If Google ensures that their employees are comfortable when they work, Adobe focuses more on the creative ideas of their employees. Aside from events and recognition, they also offer patents for ideas for creative employees. This is on top of the gym memberships and tuition reimbursement that they offer all of their employees. This is a company that encourages innovation. It is the perfect place for inventors or visionaries that have great ideas with no outlet. Adobe ensures that every good idea is rewarded.
This is a company that focuses on transparency above all else. When other companies conceal their small team, Buffer is not afraid to tell the world about starting small and then building their business to 72 employees. Buffer is a social media management app that allows marketers to post to different social media channels using one convenient app. The app is being used by 4 million marketers but they only have a team of 72 people to manage it. They are transparent about this and this allowed them to get the help that they need when they need it the most.
You'll know that Hubspot's culture is nothing but ordinary just from visiting its website. It is a company that focuses more on teamwork. In the company, everyone has a voice and they are encouraged to have new ideas and innovate. They are also very transparent at all levels which increases the level of trust among employees. Aside from this, the company also provides free meals alongside their very welcoming culture.
Facebook is rather similar to Google when it comes to being technologically-oriented and driven. And their culture is also the same. But what draws most employees to Facebook is their perks, They also offer free food, office space, stocks and laundry. This is not to mention the open communication channels that is often encouraged in their company.
Zappos is a company that focuses on the relationships between their employees. Being a customer service firm, their focus is on strengthening their organizational culture for the benefit of better productivity. Their offices also don't look ordinary. They allow their employees to freely express themselves. They are a company that hires people who will fit the culture first. And they always have camps and training events to further increase the camaraderie between employees.
If you want to work for the good of mankind, then you'll like Salesforce. Salesforce is known as the leader in cloud-based sales solutions but they make sure that what they do doesn't end there. They also use their business resources to help different advocacies. They take a strong stance in social issues and they focus more on volunteerism and employee engagement.
Twitter offers the perfect example of teamwork at its best. It is not just about creating something together. It is about contributing ideas so that the final product is the fruit of everyone's ideas. The employees of Twitter say that they love working for Twitter because they enjoy the mental stimulation that they get from their peers. Plus, there are also some free meals, yoga classes and vacations that will make bonding with their coworkers a bit better.
If you are a type of employee who loves his independence, then Wrike is for you. This is also a company that hires based on culture but they ensure that they use the individualities of each of their employees to create a culture that they love. They know that culture is constantly a work in progress and it cannot be just followed. Instead, it is continuously created by the employees.
Quora is a company for questions. So it hires people who have an insatiable thirst for knowledge and discovery. The motto of quora is in learning and improving. They ensure this by letting their employees work with their peers and they learn from one another. This is on top of the free meals, swag and yoga sessions that they get just from getting hired. Aside from this, Quora also have movie nights and other events that are designed to increase the camaraderie among their employees.
What type of culture do you like to create? Remember, the culture that your company has will dictate not only how your employees will work but also how long they will stay in the company. Companies with high employee turnover rates usually don’t have a culture that is compatible with the employee. So it is important to take a step back to see what type of culture you have and adjust your hiring processes accordingly. Doing this is simple. First, look at the five types of company cultures. Try to define where you fit in. Next, do your research and try to validate your guess. Sometimes, your perspective may be different from other employees and stakeholders so it may be best to cross-check. Third, look at successful company cultures and try to see how you can adopt their strategy into your own company. This will make your employees more encouraged to work for you.
Also, it is very important to try to hire for culture. This is by looking at an applicant’s personality before his skills. This will allow you to see if he is compatible with your company. This way, no further adjustments are needed. He will fit right in when he is hired.