Culture, what’s the big deal?

March 29, 2012

Be Inspired

What were two words you heard more about in 2011 than any other year? Social Media? Yes. But also, Company Culture. I remember a couple of years ago when I first started job hunting I rarely thought to ask about company culture. I just wanted a job where I could learn a lot and grow my career. While this is still the case this “company culture” term is now known all over Fortune 500 companies and more. This is now the deciding factor when people are seeking employment. People will take less money for a better culture.

2011 was also the year that people wanted to be happy. They didn’t need the six figure income anymore to be happy, because it wasn’t worth the ulcers, missing family time, and gray hair. People quit companies and did what they were passionate about. I heard from countless people this year while interviewing that they were leaving “Corporate America” to do something they were passionate about. They didn’t want the stress and money; they wanted to make a difference. It was inspiring and motivating as an employer, people were finally starting to do what they wanted.

So how do you figure out if you’re a culture fit in today’s interview process?

  • Referrals. Talk to people that work there. Most of the time they will be honest. What do they love and hate?
  • Research. Is the company’s mission, vision, and values on their website? Do they live by it? Ask the HR person what the core values are. Do you believe in their values?
  • Ask upfront questions in the interview. Is there flex time? Is there a fun atmosphere? Go to the interview a little early and hang out in the lobby for a few minutes.
  • Do they use social media at work? Believe it or not this is a deciding factor with a lot of Gen Y’ers. Why? Because social media is in our blood…if we can’t use it at work to communicate with vendors, clients, employees, then some may not work there. Social media is more widely accepted than ever before, so if you are still blocking it from your employees, you are widely outnumbered. It’s time to embrace it.

People want a career, we want to be inspired and challenged. If your culture doesn’t offer that, then you probably will have turnover every couple of years. Candidates need to look for the culture that they will fit in best. While companies need to make sure they have an attractive culture to offer to employees. Give back to the community, care about your employees, and give them the freedom to make decisions and feel empowered.

What inspires you?

Join PeopleClues for a groundbreaking Twitter Chat on Tuesday, April 3rd at 12:30 pm CST where we will discuss “Culture, how to stop thinking about it.” It will be a rapid-fire 30-minute discussion and lots of fun! Don’t miss out…don’t worry, if you do miss it, we’ll have the recap on the blog!

Follow along on Twitter by watching the @PeopleClues account and #peoplechat hashtag.

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