Investigating the Rules of Corporate Culture
Every work environment has a corporate culture that must be worked like a puzzle to figure out. How many unwritten rules designed by unique personalities? You must understand what’s going on around you for your survival. If you are a new employee you better ask several colleagues to get you started quickly. Don’t use just one person to understand what goes on behind the scenes, get a range of different perspectives. You will be surprised who knows what in the work place. Investigating the Rules of Corporate Culture.
Your first month working within a new organization will be tough because of the information overload. After you settle down into a routine you should keep your eyes and ears open and investigate how the office works. Fitting into the company culture is extremely important to your workplace harmony. Below are a few things to consider to get your moving in the right direction:
Is there a point of contact besides your boss who can provide guidance during your first 90 days? You definitely don’t want a mentor in the early stages, you need time to figure the best person for that job. You need someone you can bounce questions off of rather than asking your supervisor.
What is your supervisor’s attitude toward his employees? How are the employees treated? Do the employees appear to be treated equally? Do you recognize any favoritism? Are all employees the same or does it appear that some are asked to accomplish more tasks?
Chain of Command versus open door policy, which road is traveled most of the time? As a new employee, not following your chain of command could get you into big trouble at a new job. Your manager’s manager will tell you that he or she has an open door policy, would you possibly make this move over stepping your manager?
Silo’s versus working groups? Do the employees work in silos or are working groups formed? What are those working groups based on, age, departments, lifestyle, or ethnicity? Is there a break room where employees go to relax and talk during breaks and lunchtime? Is socializing tolerated, is the environment formal?
Is the workload a cooperative effort and everyone helps each other or is work carried out independently? Is this a competitive atmosphere, or is the management trying to promote a “family-like” atmosphere and encourage team-work?
Watch to see how your co-workers complete their assignments. Is there a particular format that everyone appears to follow? Are there templates for use? How are deadlines set?
What type of office politics exist in the workplace? Are there certain spoken policies and procedures that are not followed? What is the break and lunch policy? If you need to take off a day, can you make that day up? Workplace dating is cool or not cool?
Have you been affected by workplace culture? How is your workplace culture at basically your second home?