What Does Company Culture Mean To You?
Someone asked me recently if I wake up excited to go to work in the morning. Believe me, I never expected to answer yes to that question as an employee at a firm that provides IT solutions. But, honestly, I do – and it’s all because of the culture.
I was curious to know how other people define company culture, so I gathered feedback from people in my network. But first, here’s what company culture means to me –
If you follow my company on Facebook, you know that working for MATRIX entails office tailgating, pie contests, happy hours, baseball games, cookouts, bean bag toss tournaments, chili cook-offs, bowling competitions, holiday parties, March Madness brackets, birthday celebrations complete with singing and homemade treats, and much more.
As a 22-year-old recent college graduate, I know I’ve hit the jackpot.
But those aren’t the things that define my company’s culture. After spending a year with this community of people, I know that these are the factors that define MATRIX:
In my opinion, a great work climate incorporates a collaborative team of employees backed by a team of shepherding leaders. Every company has a range of different positions and levels within itself. It's important to have a working environment where the newer team members are able to learn from those with more experience, and feel comfortable asking them for guidance. The support we get from our leaders at MATRIX is overwhelming. They encourage us to take risks, and always go to bat for us. The leaders set the tone for every company, so it's essential that they create a positive atmosphere.
Everyone hears how important it is to give back to the community. Today charities make it easy to donate through mobile apps and SMS. But there’s something special about volunteering with the people that you do life with every day. Our team regularly serves in a variety of ways – preparing meals for those in need, walking in the Race for the Cure, fixing up low-income residences, working at clothes drives for foster kids, collecting school supplies, serving at food banks, etc. Volunteering together strengthens us a community.
It’s one thing to have daily small talk with your co-workers, but at MATRIX, people really care about each other. Having a leader in your office check on you every day makes all the difference. And they’re not just checking on your work – they’re asking about your daughter’s birthday party or how you’re settling into your new house. One conversation like this can easily turn a bad day into a good one.
I think the thing that makes me most excited to go to work is knowing that I will laugh throughout the day. We work in an environment that encourages people to be themselves, and we have a lot of vibrant personalities. There’s nothing better than good humor in the workplace.
When I posed the question to people at other companies, this is what I got back:
What does company culture mean to you?
“It’s how we interact with each other. My company has a real family feel, which is great. We all know each other and feel free to be ourselves.” – Estevan Molinar, Auditor, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
“A corporate culture is simply a reflection of its character. It is measured by the emotional state that employees occupy the majority of the time. Culture should be viewed and measured by its leadership as being binary. It is either ‘incredible’ or it is ‘not incredible’. There is no middle ground. That way you know what character and emotional state ‘you’ must have ALL the time.” – Jeff York, Chief Sales Officer, Paycom
"The common buzzwords we use to describe company culture, "great work/life balance", "established company", "family values", "startup environment", are used by everyone. There are only a few answers that most companies use to describe what sets them apart. The only true differentiator other than your product or service is your people. No one else has your people. So a culture that celebrates the individuals in your organization on a regular basis, tells the day-to-day stories, and encourages its entire workforce to share what's great about the people they work with in online conversations creates a more engaged workforce and allows job candidates to more appropriately opt into the organization." – Craig Fisher, CEO, TalentNet
Follow MATRIX on Facebook to see more examples of a great company culture.
Ok, now it’s your turn to give a response - what do you think is most important for a company culture? What’s your favorite thing about your company culture?