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Culture at Work

Aug 1, 2012 | 1 comment

Culture at Work

Culture is at work every day and while most people think of culture as a way to distinguish their membership to an ethnic group, they seldom think of it as having an impact at their job or their interviewing process.  When you apply to a job, you are automatically giving the impression that you think you would be a good fit within the company. Most people only look at the salary and benefits being offered and never stop to think how well they would conform to the potential organization. Questions that you should ask yourself when applying for a job is, “How does the organization treat their employees or how are the employees motivated?” Organizational culture is a system of shared meaning held by members that make it unique from other organizations. In order for you to be successful at a job interview, you need to do your research and find out what kind of culture the company enforces so that you can answer interview questions in a certain way, the correct way. Job satisfaction is directly linked to how well you fit in at your work.

Seven characteristics that define culture at an organization are:

* innovation and risk taking

* attention to detail

* outcome orientation

* team orientation,

* aggressiveness, and

* stability.

Innovation and Risk Taking is the degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and to take risks. If you like to take risks at your job or you are very innovative, then, you must find out if the job you are applying to encourages their employees to function in that particular manner.

Attention to Detail is the degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis, and to details. If you are a person who likes doing intense research or you love to analyze the logistics and details, then, an organization that motivates their employees to pay attention to detail would be a good fit for you.

Outcome Orientation is the degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than on the processes used to achieve those outcomes. People who pay attention to the big picture or the end result of a project would do well in a company that has strong outcome orientation. People orientation is the degree to which management focuses on your ability to get along with others in the company and with the public. Organizations like Disney and Public Relation companies are known to value this particular characteristic.

Team Orientation is the degree to which work activities are organized around teams, rather than individuals. This
characteristic is where most people fall short because a lot of people are hesitant about working in groups.

Aggressiveness is the degree in which people are motivated to be aggressive and competitive, rather than easy going. People who are not competitive would probably have low job satisfaction versus people who thrive on competition.

Stability is the degree to which organizational activities emphasize maintaining the status quo and contrast to growth. Companies that are high in stability are less open to change and different innovative ideas so beware if you are the type of person who likes to mix things up a little bit.

Applying to different companies should not be a random process because your happiness and satisfaction depend on how well you pick the companies you want to apply to. Some companies are strong in more than one area listed above and some are only strong in one of the characteristics listed so be aware. Your job is to decide what you value and would like to deal with on a daily basis.

If you like companies that value risk taking and innovation or stability or perhaps you prefer team orientation, it is up to you to determine how you would like to function at your work and to find a company that allows and encourages you to do so. Read daily news about the companies you are applying to because that could give you some insight as to how they appear to the public eye.

Another way to find out about the company is to use networking. Never underestimate networking because talking to people who work for potential companies can give you insight that is not shown to the general public. Some companies that have strong organizational cultures are Google, Hewlett Packard, and Dell. The bigger the company, the easier it will be to research what kind of company they are. Remember do your research, know what you want, and know your potential company and employer. △