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Did You Ask About Company Culture?

Written by Tammy Sullivan, Senior Compliance Specialist & Project Manager, Client Support

When my grown daughter was still in high school, I was at her soccer game that was about to start. Her teammate’s Dad was sitting in a chair on the sidelines next to his smiling wife, waiting for the game to start. As I looked closer, I realized that he had a VERY large stack of cards on his lap and was meticulously signing each one. Out of curiosity, I asked him what he was doing. He responded:

When I started my company 25 years ago, I sent out personalized birthday cards to all employees. My wife said to me at the time, if you do it now and the company grows, you will STILL need to do this when it gets bigger because this is the culture people are buying into when they decide to come work for you.

With his wife beaming, he went on to say, SO I’m signing birthday cards that I will put a personalized note in when it gets closer to the person’s birthday. This just saves me time because I’ve already tammy_candidsigned it and filled out the envelope.

I loved this concept and was reminded of it recently when talking to recent grads who interviewed for their first “BIG” job of their adult lives. They told me how important culture was in evaluating their options. They want a fun place to work that allows them room to spread their wings, values work-life balance, and offers more than sitting in a cube working all day.

I’ve been lucky enough in my career to experience all types of cultures and really learn how important it is to employee job satisfaction. As First Business has grown over the years, I’ve valued the company’s continued activities geared toward bringing the staff together. (Banksgiving, bowling outings, holiday get-togethers, family get-togethers, volunteer opportunities, charity events, fun committee events, wellness committee events, and, coincidentally, birthday cards and anniversary phone calls from our CEO!)

Continuing to make people feel like an important part of a community is a valuable facet of the First Business culture we all buy into. Some of us ask about culture during our interviews, others take it for granted until it changes. I’m grateful to First Business for continuing to support activities that were started years ago — and those just recently started — that help to build our strong employee culture.

When you accepted an employment offer, did you consider company culture as part of the package? If so, did you ask about it during the interview process? You might love what you do, but if you don’t enjoy your environment, it makes getting up and getting to work a daily challenge.

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