What is Your Corporate Climate and How Do You Describe It?

Joe Weinlick
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Each individual company has a corporate culture. It's one of those things that everyone knows the firm has, yet employees probably have trouble defining. A company's culture may help identify its brand, determine the work ethic of employees and serve as a way for you to gauge whether you want to work for the business.

Corporate culture may include certain characteristics that every employee at the company seems to follow. As an example, a business might value teamwork above all else. Another company may treat each employee as equally valuable from the CEO down to the entry-level administrative assistant.

On the negative side, some firms have a lack of teamwork when departments compete with each other instead of move forward with the company's goals. Managers may have very little leadership experience, but they got their jobs because they know people. Each of these characteristics seem unquantifiable. It is vital for business professionals to know a company's corporate culture before deciding to work there. There are a few methods to determine what this culture entails.

Company Website

Many people first come into contact with a company through its website. Find clues about the corporate culture through the mission statement, About Us page or the values espoused through the company's main Web portal. Blogs also offer ways to read about what each company cares about.

Social Media

Similar to the company's website, social media plays a big part in defining corporate culture. Twitter posts, Facebook feeds and LinkedIn blogs all contain information about company activities and how it operates. Pictures on Facebook or Instagram show you events, employees and a day-to-day feel of a business. Does the business use these social websites daily, or does it only use these tools to disseminate press releases? Use these avenues of communication to connect with employees and ask them questions such as "What are five words you use to describe your company?"

Workplace Characteristics Survey

Try to assign values to certain workplace characteristics discovered through online research to match your potential satisfaction with a particular employer versus the company's culture. Assign values of one to five to the characteristics you find most important to your professional life. The number five represents the highest score you need for your own satisfaction, and one is the lowest.

Consider several options to see if you could be happy at a workplace. Competition, teamwork, employee interaction and potential for promotion all deal with how you interact with your co-workers. Telecommuting, benefits, work space design and having personal items at work deal with making you feel comfortable in your position. Professional development, training and a well-defined career path help nurture your personal success while moving through the team. Ask yourself which of these characteristics are most important to your professional life, and then you have some idea whether this employer fits your personality.

Trying to determine a company's corporate culture helps align the firm's motivations with yours. When you answer "Yes" to the question "Does this company inspire me?" you have a winner. Then you have to convince a hiring manager you are a perfect fit.

Photo courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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