How to deal with culture clash at work

Generation Z, we’re told, want more than just a job. They want to work for companies where they feel in tune with the corporate culture.  So, do you deal with a culture clash at work?

Environmental concerns, corporate social responsibility, and flexible working are all high on this new generation’s agenda.

But being in tune with the culture of your new workplace isn’t only important to younger people. Working for a company where the underlying beliefs and attitudes don’t mesh with your own is difficult for everyone.

Reality Check

The first step is to work out if you have a problem. It’s normal to feel a bit out of place if you have just started a new role. Coming from a different environment, the new ways of your colleagues might ‘feel’ wrong without actually being a problem.

Signing up because the company talked about being accepting of families and the need for flexible working, but the expectation is you working late every night? That’s a genuine problem and probably won’t work long-term.

Make changes

One way that you can help yourself to feel more ‘at home’ in your new environment is to invest some time and energy into getting to know your colleagues. Find areas that you have in common and look for ways that you can bond. Belonging is a really basic human need, and you might find that once you’ve made some connections that the problems aren’t as big as you first thought.

If the culture fit is more of a practical nature, there are ways you can take steps to shift their culture your way. For example, if the environment is important to you but the company uses throwaway plastic coffee cups, could you persuade them to change to reusable ones?

Talk to your boss

If you’re not happy in your role, then your performance will probably suffer. But even if you’re still hitting your targets, that unhappiness probably takes a toll on your health or social life. To deal with it, you need to talk to your boss about it, positively. It could be that they’ve already noticed that you’re not settling in as they were hoping.

Try and keep the discussion positive. You don’t want to come across as though you are attacking the company. You might like to work in a sociable team but find your colleagues are all heads down and earbuds in. The solution could be to work in a different area where you will get some interaction?

Once you and your boss have had a discussion, you should have some ideas for how to change things moving forward. Give it a few weeks and see how you feel – hopefully, those changes will have you feeling much more positive about your new role.

Is moving an option? 

If all else fails, then look for another position – it’ll probably your best bet. You might worry that it would look bad on your CV to move to another role so soon, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re honest with prospective employers, they’ll understand that you need to make the change.

The bottom line is, you will be happiest and most productive when you’re working for companies that fit your ideals. Doing your research into company culture ahead of time may help stop you making the same mistake again.

If you’d like to discuss your career please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0207 269 6144 or you can check our job board on our website.