A job candidate must evaluate many factors in considering and accepting a job offer. We could list things such as salary, benefits, fringes, growth opportunities, schedule, and job title. All these items are tremendously important, but one item exists that can make or break the deal for both the company and the job candidate. That item is the corporate culture. I love the way that Inc. defines corporate culture (http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/corporate-culture.html):
“the shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs that characterize members of an organization and define its nature. Corporate culture is rooted in an organization’s goals, strategies, structure, and approaches to labor, customers, investors, and the greater community. As such, it is an essential component in any business’s ultimate success or failure.”
The very definition of corporate culture establishes its essentiality. Without a valid, high-quality, and effective corporate culture, the organization will fail in its purpose and vision. I have seen organizations with marginal business models wonderfully progress and ultimately succeed because of a positive corporate culture, and yes, I said marginal business plans. The point is that if you have a solid corporate culture, that foundation is what predisposes the organization to optimize its resources, tweak its business model, and ultimately succeed.
When it comes to job candidates and companies, corporate culture is not always the element we think about the most, yet it should be. Corporate culture is supremely important. In any given situation, it can be the most important roadblock—or facilitator—to success.