Culture impacts job appeal
Few factors have as much impact on how you feel about your job as the culture in which you work. Despite its importance, job seekers rarely take into account the corporate culture when weighing a job offer, and those employed there rarely stand back and analyze their culture or try to change it.
Consider the cultural differences of these Pittsburgh organizations:
• Kevin Mongrain, Ph.D., executive director of The National Institute for Newman Studies in Shadyside says, “Our employees are hired because they can work independently. The culture is ‘you know your job, and you're not micromanaged.' ” Mongrain says that because the institute houses visiting scholars, “part of everyone's job is to help them find things in Pittsburgh; our whole orientation is to host and serve people.”
• Karen Bolden, chief people officer at Eat'n Park Hospitality Group, says, “The tasks of any particular job — HR manager, accountant, etc.— are similar no matter where you go. What makes the role different are the people you work with. Those people make up the culture of the organization. In our case, when you visit our restaurants or Corporate Support Center, you see many smiles, a focus on the guest and a little bit of fun.”
• Anthony Drane, chief operating officer at Familylinks, says, “We have grown larger and much more diverse in regard to the communities and number of individuals we serve. During this growth period, we have had to work very hard to maintain a culture of ‘smallness.' Leadership is accessible to employees and regular, recurring employee feedback is solicited and used to make impactful decisions. Professional development is ingrained in our culture. We believe in developing homegrown leaders and allocate significant resources for leadership development training for front-line employees. Our culture supports staff to grow along with the organization.”
Can you imagine yourself happily working at all three of these organizations? Probably not. Just as you have a unique personality, so do employers. If you are not happy at your job but can't put a finger on why that's so, give some thought to how well you fit into your organization's culture. If you are looking for a job, investigate a potential employer's culture before signing on, by talking with your contacts and researching on Glassdoor and LinkedIn.
While many profess to be able to change a corporate culture, the fact is, such change is extremely challenging. Change takes concerted long-term effort or a sudden, sweeping move such as what occurred at Heinz in April when, in a dramatic effort to get everyone on board with the new culture, all 775 Pittsburgh employees were offered a buyout. Most organizations can't or won't do these things.
Several years ago, a Pittsburgh corporation underwent a major effort to change its image. The company was known for being a very political “good ol' boys” place. They wanted to increase diversity and reduce the political atmosphere, so they charged a VP of human resources with the task. In three years, she made headway, but then a new president was appointed. He was with the company many years and never bought into the cultural changes. He fired the VP of human resources, and almost overnight the company reverted to its former self.
Chris Posti is president of Posti & Associates in Pittsburgh. She can be reached at 724-344-1668.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Police: Man wanted in fatal state trooper ambush captured
- 5 Cal U football players arrested for assault; Saturday’s game canceled
- Building collapses in Connellsville; mounds of debris land in street
- Steelers’ prime-time games shrink attendance at Heinz Field
- Steelers must find better balance on defense
- Defense witness testifies on video, absent jurors, of cyanide alternatives
- Southmoreland cross country trio chasing solid finishes
- U.S. Rep Kelly tells Pittsburgh VA official taking over VA Erie top post of need for transparency
- State trooper struck by SUV in Westmoreland faces more surgery, long recovery
- Pittsburgh asks judge to let abortion buffer zone remain during legal challenge
- Statewide HSFB notebook: Pope John Paul II football player continues comeback