A Guide to Learning a Company’s Culture
Congratulations! You’ve been offered a position at a prestigious company that aligns with your skills, abilities, and education. You’ve beaten out other candidates by acing the interview and making an initial good impression with hiring managers at the company. Now comes the hard part. Now comes the part where you must familiarize yourself with and acclimate yourself to the company’s “culture.” What does the term “company culture” mean? Put simply, a company’s culture is the shared values, practices and beliefs of the company’s employees. It is at once intangible and at the same time inviolate in most firms. As one of the top staffing agencies in New York, we want you to get off to the right start in your new position. So that you can do this, we offer the following tips on learning and adjusting to a company’s culture.
- Talk to employees: Before you secure the position ask the hiring manager if you can speak to current employees. Ask questions about the opportunities they were given and what to do if you encounter questions or any difficulties performing the job. Ask how the organization supports career growth and development. Finally, ask the employees if there is anything about the company they would change if they could.
- Tour the company: If you are invited and are able to take a tour of the company and the area in which you will be working. Take a list of questions with you and don’t be afraid to query your interviewer, the hiring manager, employees, etc. Try to observe if people seem to be happy. See if there are people your age working there that you might enjoy being around. Finally, try to determine if employees are working well together.
- Research online: Sites like Glassdoor, LinkedIn and Facebook are good places to check the experience of past and present employees.
- Determine how the company handles conflict: Conflict is unavoidable in all areas of life including the workplace. However, some companies deal with conflict differently than others do. Ask questions such as how conflicts are resolved, who has ultimate veto power and how decisions are made when there is a lot riding on a given outcome.
Finally, every company has its own unique set of unwritten values. They may not be officially codified but they are as important as any set of rules in an employee handbook. By learning the culture of the company you will be joining you will be avoiding misunderstandings that could negatively impact your new position. Companies rely on staffing firms in NYC like ours because we help give new employees the tools they need to acclimate to their new position.
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