While most self-respecting corporations tout their corporate culture as an important recruiting tool, a new book makes the case that culture can’t be reliably measured across big organizations.
For a new, research-driven book, Nine Lies About Work: A Freethinking Leader’s Guide to the Real World, from Harvard Business Review Press, authors Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall asked employees at many different companies to evaluate statements like, “At work, I clearly understand what is expected of me,” and, “Do I have the chance to use my strengths every day?” to evaluate the workers’ experience.
The authors found that within most companies, the answers varied greatly from department to department.
In an interview with HuffPost, Buckingham, who studies people and performance at the ADP Research, said the celebrated rankings of “best companies to work for” serve a valid purpose, but more attention should be paid to Individual leaders, especially by prospective job seekers.
“For an individual employee, it means the most important thing for you is your local team. Find out as much as you can, and whenever you get worried that the team leader you’re joining is somebody that you can’t click with or don’t trust, take that really seriously,” said Buckingham.
Top executives at a company, and their vision, are important too, since it’s hard to work for an organization where you don’t respect the leadership.
However, “your actual experience of working is the day-to-day people who just keep showing up every day, working next to you and bringing their work and bringing themselves,” Buckingham told Huffpost. “The good news is it’s much easier to control the experience on a team than it is to try to shift an entire aircraft carrier of a company.”