Is Your Company Culture Just a Pool Table?

The following is a guest post from Van Shuff, a Strategic Sourcing professional with over 12 years experience and extensive skills in a wide range of categories in retail store construction sourcing.


I imagine my experience is like that of many others in the midst of a career search, you prioritize your search based on who has the best culture. Everyone can think of good and bad things about their current company but in the beginning of a career search you only remember the bad. No one wants to repeat the bad. (well okay, most don’t)


My very first step in my search was to Google “Best places to work in Columbus” which led me to great articles like Columbus CEO Top Workplaces 2016 and Columbus CEO Top Workplaces 2015. I was impressed by the diversity of the companies included from tech startups to automotive dealerships and everything else you could imagine.


Through all of my networking, regardless if I’m meeting with a CEO or an individual contributor, my first questions is “What’s the culture like?”. The responses have been very interesting.


The Good:
• “I feel important”
• “My work matters to me and those around and above me”

The Bad:
• “It’s horrible but I didn’t want to put that in writing”
• “I really wouldn’t come here to work if I were you”


How is your company culture?


It is easy to assume good culture is equal to employee environment/amenities (Should we put the dart board by the bean bag chair?) or a well put together PowerPoint deck.


Are you ready for a start-up culture?


“Culture is more than adding a pool table” was a statement from a leader I met whose company is known for its incredible culture.


It took a few days for that to sink in. To be honest, I’d love to have a pool table at my next job or a bean bag chair or a long list of other perks that I’ve not experienced with past companies. The pool table is only as effective as the quality of people surrounding it and the level of trust and empowerment they’ve experienced.


A few questions:
• Do you believe your corporate culture is good or bad?
• How would your employees answer when a friend asks, “What’s it like to work there”?
• Is there an effort to do more beyond catch phrases on a document?
• What are you doing, as an individual, to contribute to making the culture better?


Culture is hard but yet it is everything to the success of an organization. I hope you’re giving it all the attention it deserves from the C-suite policies to the way you personally contribute daily in your actions.




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