We hear about things like company culture and employee engagement all the time. For most people, it’s hard to describe what makes a good company culture, but everyone knows it when they see it or experience it. The problem with culture, as the graphic below describes, is that culture is not comparative. You can’t really compare cultures because a culture that’s a great fit for me might be an awful fit for someone else and vice versa.
What’s also important is the connection between employee engagement and culture. There’s a powerful synergy between the two. The ways people interpret and act on their experiences as employees create the culture. Plus, a great culture encourages employees to be more engaged.
However, David Chou highlights why leadership is so important when it comes to employee engagement and culture:
— David Chou (@dchou1107) August 9, 2018
We all know the famous idiom that one bad apple will spoil the bunch. This is particularly true in an organization. A bad leader or even a bad employee can make the culture toxic for everyone. That leads to bad culture and poor employee engagement.
How can you evaluate this in your job search?
This is a challenging thing to evaluate from the outside looking in. However, you will get subtle hints through the interview process about the culture of expectation at the company and how they treat their employees. Another good way to learn about a company’s culture is to look at their social media. Assuming they’re participating on social media (which if they’re not it says something about their culture too), you can often get a glimpse at the culture of the company based on what they share and how they share it. Are they extra conservative in what they share? Are they fun? Does the team do things together and share what’s happening? How do they honor their employees?
All of this said the best way to evaluate a company’s culture is to talk to current and former employees. Through your network you should find someone who has worked at the company or who does now work at the company so you can learn about their true culture.
As the graphic above points out, culture is hard to change. So, understanding the culture of a company is important before you decide to work for them.