How can you suss out the culture of an organization?

March 19, 2019

I’m a firm believer that a company’s culture is shaped by it’s people.

No amount of swanky office furniture, buzz-word core values or superficial gimmicks can have a real impact on the way a person feels about getting up everyday and going to work.

Don’t get me wrong, having fussball tables, quirky break-out areas and fun team incentives can all add to the enjoyment of your workplace but when they are incorporated merely for the sake of trying hard to appear like a great workplace as opposed to being put in place to compliment the things people really care about, they’re useless.

For example, we know that every person is different. This means every individual has different drivers. For some a cool office space will help to motivate and drive their morale on a day to day but for others, money might be the driver. You could have ‘Rob’ who values the flexibility aspect to spend more time with his kids or ‘Sarah’ who is really driven by progressing through the ranks of the company via job title. This is why I believe it’s absolutely crucial that employers take a good hard look at how they are cultivating and selling their company culture.

Here’s a few quick ways to to try and suss out the culture of a company:

Check out their social media

More than ever, employers are jumping on the social media bandwagon to showcase their company culture and show you how fun, diverse and accomplished they are. Just take it with a pinch of salt though, just like your own personal social media profiles, you’d only share the good stuff right?

Ask someone who has worked there before

And if you can’t find someone via LinkedIn, check out Glassdoor. Be mindful that people can often be more inclined to write a bad review than to make a recommendation but it’s worthwhile being thorough.

In the interview, dig deep

If they say that flexible working is a thing ask questions such as : Is there anybody currently within the team that has or uses the flexible working option? What aspect of the company culture are you most proud of?

Ask for an office tour

Check out how the receptionist greets people, check out how people dress, see how the team members speak and interact with each other, what’s the set up of the office? Ask to see where you will be situated.

For The Agency, our core values are the heartbeat of our business and from the ground up, every member of the team knows what they are, works by them and takes pride in them: Honesty, Positive, Disruptive, Quality and Trust. These apply internally and externally and shape all of the day to day interactions we have.

Too often are core values even not even know by employees in some companies or are known, but simply just used as a bit of a gimmick to say “hey, look at us! Look how great we are, we have core values!”  But do they mean anything though? Or are they merely a tool for your marketing?

People make the culture but if the leadership is killing it, the culture will suffer. We’ve all heard the “people don’t leave companies, they leave bad bosses” saying so choose your new leader and company culture that you want to be part of, wisely.

If you would like to learn more about the culture we’re creating at The Agency or how we can help you to find your ideal, get in touch. I’d love to hear from you.