What Is Company Culture?

I’ve had many different jobs in the retail world since I started working at the age of 16. From West49 to Golf Town, various coffee shops, home furnishing retailers… You name it, I probably did it. The funny thing is, aside from caring about whether or not I was content where I was, I never really paid attention to what the culture was like in the organization (nor did I understand what organizational culture was). I was rather oblivious about whether we were meeting our sales quotas or what kind of a contribution I was putting forth until I decided to go back to school.

Fast forward to today: I’ll be graduating from my human resources program this December, meaning I’ve got to start getting a jump on the whole post-graduation job search. The thing is, the kind of job I want doesn’t really exist yet. At least, if it does, it’s a relatively rare thing to find. And on top of that, I’m not looking for a job that I have to settle for; I’m looking to build a career. I want to work somewhere where I’m making a difference. Where my job is not just an essential service to running the organization. Where I feel like I’m part of a family.

What I want is a job where I’m not only the HR partner for the organization, but where I can be a partner and a voice for all the employees and help foster that kind of culture.

After having completed two unpaid internships, both of which gave me insight into what it’s really like working in “typical” office settings, I can tell you that nothing is more demotivating than working for free, doing something you don’t love doing (I’m not saying unpaid internships are not important, but I’ll get into that at a later date). Despite having worked with some great people and having had the opportunity to do some interesting work, neither workplace had the kind of culture I was searching for. I’ve come to understand what kinds of improvements could go a long way to help boost the organizational culture, whether they be little or big.

Great organizational culture is probably one of the most important criteria I’m looking for in a job. I’m not the only one looking for this kind of job environment either; in fact, most of Generation Y is looking for the same thing. So what does this kind of culture entail?

It’s more than just a good job that pays well and offers good benefits. It’s a place that where employees can feel comfortable, challenged, empowered. Where there is more to your work life that revolves around just generating reports, filing paperwork, and clocking out exactly at 5 p.m. Organizations with great culture go far beyond what most people can imagine with their appreciation for their employees. To name a few examples, they build fun and interactive workspaces, organize team-building activities, and send staff on corporate retreats. They do anything and everything in their power to try and show their employees how valued they are.

It’s no longer about the amount of money an organization is willing to give you; it’s now all about the experience they can offer.

This post was originally published on yes supply co. Our team brings you interviews, articles and tools from creatives who have achieved their 'yes' in life, to help you achieve yours.