What is Company Culture? And Why Are So Many Job Seekers Seeking a Good 'Culture Fit'?

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 19, 2024 at 10:30PM UTC

Workers who believe that their company’s mission, vision and values align with their own are much more likely to recommend their employer to others — 70% to just 25%, according to Qualtrics research. They’re also more likely to say their work gives them a sense of personal accomplishment — 72% to 29%. 

Company culture is not just a trendy topic. It is becoming an increasingly important priority for workers across industries, so much so that it’s one of the first things people look at when considering a job offer.

It’s not just about who works there. It’s also about the structures in place, the procedures and processes, the formal and informal behaviors and the general atmosphere of the organization.

Why are so many employees seeking a good culture fit? These are just some of the reasons why company culture is taking center stage in the work conversation.

1. Values are critical.

People want to work with an organization that stands for the same things they stand for. According to Qualtrics, nearly half of employees say it’s more important now than ever before for business leaders to be vocal about social, environmental and political issues. And many say it’s not enough to simply issue a public statement, as so many businesses did surrounding topics like the Black Lives Matter movement, the war in Ukraine and the Uvalde school shooting. Actions speak louder than words, and actions are key to proving values alignment.

2. It’s not just a job.

For many of today’s workers, work is not just a job. They want to be engaged, driven and motivated, not just because they’re earning a paycheck but because they’re working toward a greater purpose. A positive company culture is crucial to ensuring employees are inspired — something that will benefit the organization and the individual alike. 

Company culture is an important factor in what makes work more than just a job. It can establish camaraderie and improve a collaborative spirit. It establishes a mission and purpose, and it makes work feel important.

3. The world is changing.

The work world looks very different from how it did just a mere few years ago. With the onset of the global pandemic, numerous social justice movements and an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), people are reimagining work styles, approaches, priorities and how we do what we do. 

With that comes a need to reexamine purpose and meaning in work — and what our focus should be.

4. It’s generational.

Qualtrics also finds that Gen Z is especially concerned about company culture, with 68% of the youngest work generations saying they would take a 5% or greater pay cut to work for a company with better values, compared with 35% of Baby Boomers. 

So, it’s a generational thing — and that’s part of why company culture has become so central to our current work landscape.

5. Work relationships matter.

Finally, positive relationships in the workplace boost everyone, from the CEO to the intern. Everyone wants an organization where relationships are strong and people are working together to achieve common goals. Today’s workers want to feel good about what they do, and they want their jobs to have a purpose. This is the true essence of company culture, something that encourages and supports all employees.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

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