Coming out of University and finding the job that’s right for you straight away is never an easy task. As well as the primary concerns such as pay standards, holiday allowances and job satisfaction, it’s extremely important that you are doing a bit of research on the various companies you’re applying to from a culture perspective.
The problem of cultural fit is sadly a big one: half of all employees don’t last more than 18 months in their job, mainly due to a cultural mismatch between employee and employer.
Organisational psychology guru Adrian Furnham defines cultural fit as “where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organisation and those of the person.” It’s vitally important you can feel in tune with the company you work for, for a number of reasons. According to the findings of a recent study by Kristof-Brown these are:
- Greater job satisfaction
- A higher level of identification with the company
- You’re more likely to remain with the organisation
- You’re more committed
- You tend to show superior job performance
Perhaps most importantly, cross-country studies in regards to cultural fit at companies suggests a link between this and mental & physical health, meaning a job that fits your personality will make you less likely to suffer from anxiety or depression.
Know Your Personality Type
Richard Branson has said that the first thing he looks for when seeking a great employee is a personality that fits with the company culture. Are you a humanist, a socialiser, a go-getter? Perhaps you’re a maverick, mastermind or visionary? Whatever category you fall into, you should be aware of what it is and then look for words in job descriptions and company information that fit the bill.
The first priority of any successful company is building, motivating & retaining great teams, so perhaps do a bit of research around employee retention rates. HR platform organisation BreatheHR espouse the virtues of conducting regular appraisals in order to strengthen company culture, so when going for your interview ask whether or not these do in fact take place.
Know The Company’s Personality Type
There are many different types of organisation and ways of working and not all of them will be right for you. Organisational archetypes include commando unit, nuclear family, space colony and large-scale military operation, so when job hunting make a list of the ones that you think might be suited to you and go from there. For example, a humanist may prefer working as part of a nuclear family unit, whilst a go-getter may be better suited to that space colony that knows no limits to innovation and exceeding of expectations.
No matter what yours or the company’s personality type is, you want to be sure that where you’ll be working isn’t a dull place. Research suggests that up to 94% of workers say a ‘buzzy’ atmosphere increases their productivity. Over three quarters of job seekers say that this ‘buzzy’ atmosphere is one of the key factors they look for in a company. Half state that laughter is highly important. Key to establishing a company culture that is successful as it can be, according to Morgan Lovell’s Monica Parker, is for bosses to “create a flexible working environment and culture that supports different types of people.” This last point fits with the statistic that 86% of workers are more likely to be productive with an inspirational boss. To coin an old adage, a company is all about its people.
The Wider Benefits
When an employee finds a company that fits well with their values, ideals and personality, it is not just them that benefit. Friends and family of that person get a happier more fulfilled person who doesn’t fill time spent with them whining about how much they hate their job. Society as a whole is also a winner, as a society with more happy and fulfilled individuals within it is a stronger more cohesive society.
Organisations that value individuals for who they are, encourage them to focus on doing things that they love and supporting them in tasks that are more difficult are ones that recent graduates would be advised to prioritise in job searches. When a company gives its people more control over their lives, more personal freedom to be the best they can be and the power to own projects that have a direct impact on the success of the wider company, everybody benefits.