Main image of article Why Culture Matters

Company culture is one of the most important—and overlooked—aspects of employment in the tech industry. Unless a company maintains a good culture, it’ll lose its best employees to rivals, which will impact its innovation, productivity, and, ultimately, its profits. In light of that, what defines a “good” company culture, and how can tech professionals recognize one that aligns with their own needs and values?

For managers and team leaders, it’s always worth considering how they can improve team and company culture on a day-to-day basis. Like so many things, culture isn’t a “one and done” effort; it requires continual work and thought.

What Makes Up Company Culture?

Company culture is the shared set of values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that define how a company operates. It’s often mis-defined as perks such as arcade rooms and free snacks (although those can be nice perks), but it’s actually much more serious. Culture is expected to help guide decision-making, communication, collaboration, and how employees interact with each other and the broader company.

Why Does Company Culture Matter?

Have you landed at a company with a great internal culture? Fantastic! Here’s how it might boost your career:

  • Boosted morale and engagement: Employees who feel valued and supported by the company’s culture are more likely to be productive, motivated, and invested in their work.

  • Enhanced creativity and innovation: A culture that encourages open communication, risk-taking, and collaboration can help foster new and interesting ideas—which is beneficial not only for the company, but also your career.

  • Solid work-life balance: Strong company cultures prioritize employee well-being and offer flexible work arrangements. You’ll be happier and maybe even healthier.

Building a Better Culture: How Companies Can Improve

Managers increasingly recognize the need for great culture. Building that culture, however, is an ongoing process with many potential pitfalls. Here are some ways companies can establish and improve their corporate culture:

  • Clearly define core values: Identify the values that are most important to the company and ensure they are communicated clearly and consistently.
  • Empower employees: Give employees a voice in decision-making and encourage them to take ownership of their work.
  • Promote open and honest communication: Foster transparent communication channels and encourage feedback from all levels of the organization.
  • Invest in employee development: Provide opportunities for learning and growth, both professionally and personally.
  • Celebrate successes and milestones: Recognize and reward employee achievements to boost morale and build a sense of community.

How Tech Pros Can Evaluate Company Culture

As a tech professional, how to find out the culture of a company before accepting a job? Fortunately, there are some concrete steps you can take:

  • Review the company website and social media: Look for information about the company's mission, values, and employee activities.

  • Talk to current and former employees: Seek out online reviews and reach out to your network for insights into the company culture.

  • Ask specific questions during interviews: Go beyond the usual questions and inquire about the company's values, communication style, and approach to work-life balance. To that end, you can utilize platforms like Glassdoor and Blind to gather anonymous employee feedback on company culture.

  • Pay attention to red flags: Watch out for signs of micromanagement, poor communication, or lack of employee engagement.

Remember, when you choose a company with a strong and upbeat culture, you’re ultimately boosting your own career and well-being. If you seek out companies that align with your values and prioritize employee experience, you’ll have a better chance of building a thriving career.