Adapting to a Corporate Culture

By August 12, 2015 Uncategorized

Adapting to a Corporate

Corporations are like people, they all have idiosyncrasies to which you must adapt if you want a successful relationship.

You don’t behave with your parents the same way you do with your friends. Similarly, what is acceptable in one corporation is taboo in another.

The corporate culture defines a business environment and makes it unique. To succeed, you must quickly learn the do’s and don’ts, which vary from company to company. For example, if you are aggressive at one office, you are considered a troublemaker.  If you’re aggressive at another office, you are considered a strong manager.

Performance is the critical factor in moving your career forward, as it should be.  But other considerations apply as well.  Often, people who get ahead intuitively understand what is expected of their relationships, work habits and demeanor.

Here are a few examples:

Work habits. Standards of timeliness vary from company to company. Be sensitive about when your associates arrive for work and when they leave. Arriving at 9 am when everyone else arrives at 8:30 am gives the impression that you are on your own schedule – not the team’s.

It also can give the appearance that you are not working hard enough, even if you are still able to do the job. This relates not only to hourly employees, but to management as well.

Written communications. Every corporate culture has an accepted format for communicating, from internal memos to business development proposals.  Again, disregarding the company’s style in favor of your own sends the signal that, in your mind, what’s good for you is more important than what’s good for the company.

Presentation. How you present yourself at work says more about you than just your appearance. Your choices telegraph what is more important to you – the company’s standards or your own.  Maybe a man wants a moustache or beard in a company that frowns on facial hair.  If he challenges the status quo, he sends the message that he is rejecting the corporate image.

The immediate issue is not whether the rules and guidelines are good; rather, it is whether you want to be regarded as a team player. Once you have established yourself as part of the team, you can come forward with new ideas and approaches.  In fact, if you suppress your creativity, you deny the firm the opportunity to benefit from fresh insights and grow in new directions. The key is to choose the right manner and the right time in which to offer your input.

If you pit your own agenda against the company’s your reputation and career will suffer. Work within the corporate culture to simultaneously advance your own career and the company’s future.


Mulling at Work – Relevant Episode

Melissa Strait talks about Corporate Culture and how Arby’s is making their workforce engaged and efficient. Hear the episode here.

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