Culture can come from many sources, a CEO, fellow employees or perhaps a set of precepts that have been formalized for all to read. Regardless of the source culture acts as a zeitgeist to shape the actions of all who encounter it.
We can all recall companies or groups that have had great cultures, as well as some that make you want to run in the opposite direction.
Sometimes a culture change is all it takes to right a company or cause its demise. I think that is one reason you will see a sports team go from good to great. The players and staff may not have changed, but something did for them to pull out a win.
What happens though when a culture changes for the worst? Can we see it’s slow creep from the inside?
For me, whenever I have been in a period where I am actively job hunting I utilize glassdoor.com. It’s a great free resource to research companies based on posts from actual employees.
Do you want to know the salary range of a job? Go to Glassdoor. Is it fun to work there? Glassdoor. What type of questions will they ask when I interview? Glassdoor. I think you get the idea.
My favorite section has to do with reviews. You encounter the entire spectrum of feedback from those who say its the worst job ever to those singing its praises. What I have found is if there are enough reviews you can get a decent sample size to get an average.
Why do I bring this up? Because this website and others like it can help an employee determine the culture of a company before starting.
Once you’re in the role it can be tough to know if the culture has changed. I think it’s similar to the frog in hot water. It won’t leap out if you start with cold water. The same can be said of employees who have been around for a while. This site can give clarity.
Culture is a daily ritual that must be protected.
We all share in some part of the culture, so it’s up to the individual to be the best version of themselves daily.
I say all of this because I have seen from the inside the slow creep of culture decay and I realize it is something to be cherished and protected.
Image credit: Hiking Artist