Why is looking at a company’s culture important for employees? The obvious answer is of course you want to find a place that you are happy to work in. But it’s also very important to realise that, no matter how capable you are, if your values and attitudes do not sync with the company’s culture, you’re not going to succeed.

There’s an article on Forbes that says that 89% of new hires who fail are due to reasons related to attitudes. And it extends that to the fact that different organisations have different cultures and value different attitudes (example: Google vs Apple). Therefore an employee that works well in Apple, may have the opposite result if he or she was working in Google.

In Malaysia, almost all companies would require their candidates to have an interview with the HR division, which is meant to screen for culture fit, but in many cases their influence on the hiring decision may be limited. So jobseekers may very well still end up in companies where they are not a culture fit.

And the worst thing that could happen would be for you to join a company and realise you are an outcast. Not because you are not capable, but because your beliefs and attitudes do not fit in with the majority of the other employees in the company.

So, you should screen yourself. If you are lucky enough to be able to decide between several job offers, put aside short term things like salary or job titles.

Instead, ask yourself these questions:
  1. Which company do you think you will work well in?
  2. How did you feel about the people that interviewed you? If it wasn’t work related, would you hang out or be friends with them?
  3. What was the office environment like? Would you be happy to stay in the office longer if you had a choice to work outside the office? Or would you want to get out of there ASAP?

Don’t be stuck in a job you don’t love.



Posted by Derek Toh

Derek is the founder and CEO of WOBB.CO. He was part of the pioneer batch for the Stanford-MaGIC Entrepreneurship Program, and is also a mentor for McKinsey & Company's Youth Leadership Academy. Derek is on a mission to revolutionise work culture in Asia. He cares about initiatives that improve education and the talent market. Derek is also a big fan of superhero movies, and has been told that he drinks too much coffee during the day.