Photo Credit: Alex Kotliarskyi,

When people think of culture, they don’t necessarily think about the workplace. Not taking culture into consideration when accepting a position at a new company can be a disservice to your overall job satisfaction, and even your performance. Company culture may play an integral role in employee satisfaction, and it should be included in the decisive measures as whether or not to accept a job offer.

What is culture?

If you do a quick Google search for culture, one of the definitions provided by Merriam Webster is, “the sum of attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes one group of people from another.” While you can’t see or touch a culture, it’s present in the actions, behaviors, and approaches of the members of an organization.

How does culture apply to the workplace?

This definition of culture’s extremely applicable to the workplace, and correlated to your overall job satisfaction. Employees tend to enjoy work when their needs and values are consistent with those in the workplace. If you work for a company where you don’t fit in with the company culture, you’re likely to take far less pleasure out of your work, and you’re likely to be less happy and less efficient.

Workplace fit based on culture

It may seem daunting to figure out the culture of a workplace, but with a bit of effort, it can be done. There are some ways before and during the interview process you can check to see if the company’s culture is right for you:

  • Do some research on the company. What’s their social media and online presence like? What activities are they involved in around the community?
  • “Interview” your colleagues. During the interview process, check if it would be acceptable to ask some of your potential colleagues for coffee. Get to know them outside the office.
  • Company values and mission statement. Are these articles in line with your own?
  • Be upfront. Ask your interview panel why they work at the company and what the company culture’s like around the office.

What workplace culture’s right for you?

Reflecting on the culture of your community, family, church, or group of friends, is there an overall theme or commonality among them?

Perhaps there are similar values or viewpoints– such as family or integrity. Are these values or commonalities present in the culture of your workplace, or is there a mismatch between the values? An example of a mismatch may be a company culture with a strong focus on employee collaboration, when you prefer to work independently.

Do what’s right for you

A mismatch in company culture can create dissonance in your job satisfaction and performance. Jobs aren’t just a paycheck, and given the amount of time spent working, it’s important for you to make sure there’s a good cultural fit.

If you’re not going to be happy working at a job or for a company, it may be better to pass on the opportunity and move on. Before accepting a position with a new company, ensure it’s going to be a good fit based not only on skills, salary, and title, but it’s also a cultural fit

Photo Credit: Alex Kotliarskyi,