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Identifying the Ideal Workplace Culture


Employment & Learning

Organizational culture is an important, but often overlooked aspect of career-related exploration and decision-making. This component should be addressed in order to secure a rewarding role aligned with a particular career goal and values.

You may discover you like or dislike company policies or the way things are done in an organization. A company’s culture represents the backbone of a company, shapes how things are done, and influences the beliefs, values, traditions, and behaviours of both the employees and stakeholders.

Here are some ideas about what you may expect from a company culture. Identify some specific must-haves and must-not-haves criteria, to help you select companies that are a good fit for you. For example, do you want to work for a large corporation, a mid-sized company, or a start-up? A larger company may offer room to move up, while a small one may offer experience in diverse areas. It’s also important to evaluate the company’s philosophy, be it traditional, entrepreneurial, free-thinking, or not-for-profit.

It’s good to think about what workplace values you hold, such as team leadership, quality, integrity or client-centered focus. Also recognize the leadership style you prefer, such as transformational, coaching-based, or laissez-faire methods. What type of personalities do you like to work with? Could be a manager who are easygoing and social, or one of those who are ambitious and results-driven. Knowing the frequency of interaction between leaders and employees can help in understanding your work style and the level of transparency and collaboration that exists in information-sharing and decision-making within a company.

Workplace culture changes over time. It can be redefined and improved to further promote a healthy workplace culture by supporting inclusivity and diversity. Observing behaviours, meetings and discussions for common patterns and gaps can uncover solutions to strengthening the culture. Promoting open communication, high ethical standards, and mutual respect can greatly enhance workplace culture and foster empowering change that can benefit everyone.

This information is edited from the Career Professionals of Canada website, written by Lori Jazvac. To learn more about the Job Search Program and how it can help with identifying workplace culture, please check out our Job Search Program here: