There is much more required to have a successful career than simply the hard skills the job necessitates. Yes, these skills are instrumental in you landing your dream job, and are certainly part of the reason why you may be promoted, however there is so much more than just the hard skills when it comes to promotions, and also terminations.
So what is corporate culture, and why does it matter so much? According to Entrepreneur.com, corporate culture is “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.” Essentially, corporate culture involves the feeling of the company in question; what they believe in, what they don’t believe in, how they conduct their business, but most especially, how their employees interact with each other within the company. When speaking with an HR professional of over 25 years, 90% of the time someone is fired after the first 6 months to a year (when they are typically fired due to lack of technical skills) is due to the fact that they simply don’t fit in with the corporate culture.
A well-known example of a company with an exemplary, and forward-thinking, corporate culture is Google. Google’s corporate culture is defined as “unconventional,” and entails tuition reimbursement, flextime (employees are allowed to chose the times they work during the day), free employee lunches and on-site doctors. Google’s corporate culture has consistently helped them earn a high ranking in Fortune magazine’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For.
How do I Know my Company’s Corporate Culture?
Needless to say, the longer you’re with a company, the more you will know about their corporate culture. If you’re just starting out with a company, it is highly suggested that you make it a point of researching the company’s corporate culture. You can usually find this in the company’s mission statement, especially if it’s a larger company. Read it, study it and engage in it. Know what it means and where you fit into it.
Often times, however, the corporate culture is merely implied rather than laid out. Try and define it for yourself, and talk to some of your colleagues if you need clarification. Recognize if there are certain aspects of your personality that do not fit in with the culture, and be cognizant of those. The ability to consistently do the right thing, at the right time and at the right place draws attention to you, and will significantly increase your executive presence. Being to do this not only lies in your technical abilities, but more so in your ability to fit in with the corporate culture that surrounds you.