What do you think of when you hear the word culture? We are often quick to conjure up memories from our travels and the distinct tastes, smells, and landscapes of a place far from home. Or maybe, just the opposite; culture is every detail that makes your home unique and what makes it yours.
Just as each community has a unique culture, so do organizations. Corporate culture, also referred to as organizational culture, describes the collective behavior of the employees in a given organization. Behavior in the workplace can include values, attitudes, language, and norms. Even policies such as dress code and conduct can be a part of an organization’s culture.
The culture of a company can have a significant impact on your job or internship experience. It is important to learn about an organization’s culture because it will be something you deal with constantly if you chose to work there. The way people conduct their work, interact with others, and present themselves on a daily basis are all factors of corporate culture that will influence your position in an organization. If you want to have a successful and enjoyable work experience, you need to find a company whose culture you can easily adapt to.
Despite being such an influential part of the workplace, it is often an overlooked factor when students are applying for positions. Placing corporate culture among your top priorities when choosing a company to work with will ensure that you end up with a company that’s a right fit for you.
Tips for getting an idea of a company’s culture before accepting a position:
Look at the company’s social media presence.
- Facebook photos, tweets, blog posts, etc. can all be useful for gauging the atmosphere of a company
- Reading comments on these pages can provide a candid view of how the organization interacts with consumers and how they handle external opinions
Analyze the company website.
- These websites can provide important information on topics such as employee benefits, community involvement, and employee diversity.
- When meeting with a recruiter, or even in an interview, asking about the corporate culture of an organization is a great way to get insider feedback.
As you start to compile research on the corporate cultures of various organizations, start to think about what aspects of culture are most important to you. Ask any questions that will narrow down what kind of atmosphere you will work best in. Ask yourself questions such as: do I work better in groups or individually? Do I want to work in a smaller office or a larger one?
Culture is a difficult thing to quantify, but PR News put together a list of the “Top Places to Work in PR 2012.” The map below shows some of the companies with headquarters in the Northeast.