An average person spends over 30% of their life at work – that’s close to 1/3 rd of a lifetime. So it comes as no surprise when we say that the workplace plays a crucial role in shaping most aspects of our lives- it influences our self-esteem, how we identify ourselves, and even affects our physical & mental health. While there are different factors that influence job satisfaction (monetary benefits, job title, and more), one of the core essentials identified by experts is something known as a workplace culture fit.
What exactly is a cultural fit?
No, it has nothing to do with what you wear to work, where you are from, or the age group that you belong to. In this article, we’ll discuss what a workplace culture fit is, why it is really important, and how you can easily identify whether you’re a good cultural fit at your workplace:
What is a cultural fit?
A cultural fit should not be confused with homogeneity and a lack of diversification of talent at a workplace. It’s not about building a team of identical people.
In simple words, a cultural fit is the matching of individual employees to the business culture. It’s how the core beliefs, values, and attitudes of an organization and its founder(s) are reflected in the employees as a collective whole, in their interactions with one another, and in the environment in which they work.
Individual personalities differ and in a similar manner, workplace culture varies from organization to organization. This is the exact reason why some people fit into a specific workplace and its culture, but might find it hard to do so in another workplace.
Why Is Workplace Culture Fit So Important?
Research says that recruiters find cultural fit to be crucial in hiring professionals who flourish in their new roles and drive success for the organization.
And for good reason. Here are 5 compelling reasons why you need to pay attention to your workplace culture:
1. You are working in a healthy environment
Sharing common goals and values helps employees bond well and create a work environment that is positive and helps in their growth.
For instance, like most candidates, you may want your future employer to focus on workplace transparency as a core value, whether it be transparency in the remuneration process, building trust and openness between a team and its leader or involving you in the decision making process. How much of this is followed and how satisfied you are with the work environment, depends upon the culture of the organization.
Being a cultural misfit at your workplace does more harm than good. It could affect the team morale and can lead to a toxic work environment.
2. You tend to be more productive
A great cultural fit makes for a happy employee. And happy employees are generally more productive and motivated to contribute to the organization.
When you identify with a company’s goals and values, you get a sense of belonging to the workplace, which makes you more enthusiastic about challenges and open to learning something new.
3. You can effectively communicate and collaborate with your team
When values are aligned among team members, you’ll certainly find that it is easier to communicate with your colleagues and collaborate in a better manner. Plus, you’re more likely to be proactive and ask for help wherever you need it.
You’ll find that a good culture fit sets the tone for a supportive and collaborative work atmosphere; it will help you thrive at your workplace.
4. You find resolving conflicts is easier
Workplace conflicts can be stressful and demoralizing, but this need not always be the case. Having a strong, positive work culture that you identify with, gives you the support system that you need. You’ll find your team and manager to be approachable to resolve any conflict that may arise.
5. You’ll be able to focus on long-term growth
Studies show that employees are more satisfied and less likely to leave an organization when they are a good culture fit – it’s fundamental towards building employee loyalty.
When your personal and professional goals align with your workplace culture, you are more likely to perform better, focusing on your career growth, doing what’s best for you, and thinking about long term goals.
4 Easy Ways To Determine Whether You’re A Great Cultural Fit
Now that you know why it’s important to pay attention to workplace culture, here are 5 easy ways for you to determine whether you are a good fit for a company that you might potentially decide to join:
Identify your core values and beliefs
The first step towards finding a good fit is to identify your core values and beliefs. What kind of work environment do you generally thrive and succeed in? What organizational values motivate you to perform better and give you job satisfaction?
Ask the right questions
One of the best ways to determine this is to be prepared to ask the right questions – to the right people. Do they offer flexible working arrangements? What about work-life balance? What are the organization’s company mission and values? Don’t hesitate to read up about your potential employer beforehand and make sure to ask any questions that you may have to the interviewer.
You can also reach out to current and past employees and talk about what they find exciting about coming to work, what opportunities for growth look like, how promotions are determined, and more.
Learn from past experiences
Your previous workplaces are a great source of learning; in hindsight, you understand aspects of the organization that were great and what could have been better.
What’s that one thing that you would have changed about your previous workplace if you had the chance to do so? Start by asking yourself this question and you’ll come up with a list of core issues that you’d like to avoid / not repeat in your new workplace.
Give it time
Not all answers are obvious and sometimes, it takes time to determine whether you are a great fit in the workplace. Be patient and get to know your teammates and mentors better. Give it time. Only then will you start noticing positives and feel more confident and established in your role at a new workplace.
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