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Working with organizational culture

All organizations have a unique culture, which changes and develops over time. Sometimes this is known as the “Unwritten Rules.” 

Whether starting a new job or performing at your best in your present job, it is vitally important that you learn and understand the culture and work with it to your advantage.

So, how do you learn the culture?

  • Ask pertinent questions
  • Listen to the answers
  • Observe the culture at work
  • Think about how to use this information

Some examples of pertinent questions:

  • How do things get done around here?
  • What is management’s attitude towards ……..?
  • How do people feel about ……..?
  • Who sets the policies here?

Some of the answers that you might get are:

  • Around here, it’s keep your head down
  • You’re as good as your most recent success
  • Management is fully supportive of new initiatives, and rewards innovation
  • We like to take care of our own

Don’t rush this process – let your awareness and understanding develop over time.

Here are some additional questions that you might ask yourself:

  • What is it about your organization’s culture that is attractive to you?
  • Was it this way when you started working there?
  • Does the culture help or hinder performance?
  • What would you change if you could?
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