You made it through the application process and interviews and accepted a new job. Now you have a new role, different people to work with, and new company culture. It may or may not be much different from where you worked before, but you need to fit in to succeed.
It’s the organization’s behavioral and procedural norms, including procedures, policies, values, ethics, attitudes, code of conduct, and goals. It creates the company’s “personality” and defines the work environment, according to Indeed.
Why is Understanding Company Culture Important?
To get off on the right foot, ideally, you’ll fit in within the first 90 days, according to the Harvard Business Review. Most organizations won’t explain much about their cultural rules to new hires, and you may focus on performing your tasks well and following instructions after you start. Learning about the culture may not be an initial priority, but understanding it is critical to your success.
You’ve probably had this new job because of your past experience, skills, and potential. Your impact will decide your future success with your new employer. Depending on how well you understand and navigate their culture, that impact may be amplified or derailed.
After you start, ask co-workers how you should approach relationships. Do you spend time with people before asking for help? Should you get a list of people you can turn to for help? Where and how are decisions made? Are people friendly and open to meeting with you? Should you get help from others to make introductions?
Ask your boss what you should expect. Do people communicate through formal channels like meetings set in advance, or is it more spontaneous? Should you go through your “chain of command” before communicating with upper management, or do they welcome direct communication from employees at your level?
How is information presented? Are there formal presentations, or is it more informal? Do people share ideas, debate options, and brainstorm? Do proposals need hefty documentation or bullet points?
Are decisions made in formal meetings or over lunch? How often are decisions implemented, or does action frequently stall? Are decisions made by a few key people, or is it a more extensive, collective process? These are all critical facts to know if you want to make things happen at your employer.
Is your company more biased toward action or consensus and analysis? If it’s action, decisions are quickly made, and attention spans may be short. If not, you’ll probably need to do more research, create supporting materials, and have multiple meetings before a decision’s made.
Is work considered the product of individuals or a more collaborative orientation? If it’s tilted towards individuals, they may have a “hero mentality” that praises ambitious individuals. Group-focused employers have more of a safety net because risks and rewards are shared. The downside is it’s probably harder to stand out and move up. If you’re highly ambitious, this may not be a good fit.
You need to figure out what you can challenge and when you should do so. How does the organization approach and value change? Are they looking for disrupters to hit the ground early, or should you build consensus before seeking change?
You need to determine if you can be a highly assertive, fast-paced change agent or whether you should invest in communication and consensus. Talk to people you can trust and see for yourself how things work.
Take the Next Step. Contact Skill Connect 360
If you’re looking for a new challenge, Skill Connect 360 can help you find an excellent position that’s a good fit for you, your goals, and the employer. Take advantage of our knowledge of the hiring organization’s wants, needs, and culture to decide if the opportunity is right for you.
Call us today at 212-507-9350 or fill out our contact form to start the conversation.