What is Corporate Culture and How Does it Impact Job Satisfaction?

Infini Kimbrough
Posted by in Career Advice

When applying for jobs, there are many important factors that job seekers should consider in order to determine if a company is a good fit, such as: skills and experience, pay grade, work location, time commitment, and more. However, job satisfaction is not simply based on pay, work schedule, and tasks and responsibilities. The corporate culture is at the core of the employee experience. Therefore if the company’s values are not aligned with the employee’s values, then it could result in job dissatisfaction, even if it’s a seemingly “good job.” It is important for job seekers to make sure that their values are aligned with the companies they seek employment with in order to experience job satisfaction.

What is Corporate Culture?

Corporate culture is made up of the shared values, beliefs, and ethics that guide the behaviors and practices of a professional organization or company. These values are reflected in a myriad of ways such as the social interactions of the employees, the work environment, brand messaging, and more. In short, corporate culture defines the purpose of a company.

Why is Organizational Culture Important?

Organizational culture is important because it shapes the work environment and directly impacts the overall experience for everyone who works within the organization. The values of a company determines how employees and management interact with each other and with stakeholders during external business transactions.

What Critical Components Impact Company Culture?

There are many components that impact company culture. Harvard Business Review defines the six components of a great company culture as follows:

1. Vision: The corporate vision is the reason why the company exists. The vision statement expresses intent and purpose. The mission statement on the other hand, outlines how the company will fulfill that vision for the future. The vision reveals a shared purpose between the organization and the employee.

2. Values: While the vision defines an organization’s purpose, the values define its internal belief system. Corporate values are the beliefs and ethics driving the company mission. These moral principles are the guidelines that set the standard for how a business conducts itself.

3. Practices: Values are reflected in corporate practices. You should be able to identify that an organization upholds its values in visible ways. For example, a company that values family will provide its employees with quality healthcare benefits for themselves and their families, as well as time off for holidays and vacations. An organization that is true to its values will practice what they preach.

4. People: In order for a company culture to thrive, the people within the organization must share the core values and the responsibility of upholding those values. Therefore, the role of recruitment is not only to secure top talent for the workplace, but to ensure that recruits are aligned with the work culture. A successful company culture is reflected in how connected employees feel to the values and mission of their organization.

5. Narrative: The corporate narrative, or in other words – the company’s story, is told by archiving the company’s history and using it as a way to craft the legacy that will be left behind. The corporate narrative is essential to creating a lasting culture. The company’s narrative is built through both heritage and present reputation. How a company leaves its footprint on the world is going to be the narrative that is passed down to keep the culture alive. The story of how Steve Jobs created Apple Inc. with a friend in his garage, is a story that has been told at college graduations and on many other platforms. Even after the company has far outlived its founder, the narrative is still crafting an abiding legacy.

6. Place: The place where the people in an organization gather to carry out job functions and duties, is what we call the workplace. The workplace is the nucleus of a company culture. A positive work environment is one that builds community amongst its employees by reinforcing healthy workplace relationships.

These are just a handful of factors that impact organizational culture. But these six components are essential identifiers that job seekers should look for when determining if the company culture is a good fit for them.

How Does Workplace Culture Impact Job Satisfaction?

Workplace culture is the single most component that sits at the core of employee satisfaction and overall experience. Things like employee turnover and retention, productivity and performance, and opportunities for advancement and growth, are all ways that the workplace culture could impact job satisfaction. The aforementioned outcomes are more likely to be favorable for job seekers when they have familiarized themselves with the work culture prior to accepting a job offer. 

Understanding the workplace culture is a vital component when determining if the company’s values are aligned with your own. Job seekers should pursue companies that they feel connected to through a shared purpose, as well as those which they can envision themselves growing with.


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