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Here’s What’s Wrong with Your Company Culture

Recall the worst company you’ve ever worked for. Recall the experiences and feeling of frustration. Maybe you have a job you love at a company you love, but we all recall the worst experiences on occasion.

I vividly remember working for companies and managers that weren’t so great, especially in the retail industry. My retail experience was something like this…


It’s safe to say that most people hate working retail. Congrats if your first job was a corporate job out of college, but just know that you’re officially out of the Cool Kids Club for not sharing the retail sufferings like a good adolescent.

I have worked several jobs over the years, and I remember exactly what each manager and company was like, which is something for employers to think about. Employers may not remember every employee exactly, but employees remember managers and company cultures very well. Employers should routinely evaluate their company culture and how they treat employees.

Company culture is one of the most important factors for employees and employers. It is important to decide what kind of culture you want to work in, or the type of culture you want to establish if you’re starting a business.


Company culture is important because culture affects productivity, innovation, flexibility, job satisfaction, work-life balance, and more. Culture determines work-life and it is often difficult to change a company’s culture.

There are four types of company cultures: clan culture, adhocracy culture, market culture, and hierarchy culture.

Clan Culture

Clan cultures are built around the idea that company employees and employers are a family. Workers in clan cultures are usually unified, make decisions together, and there is open communication among employers and employees; people in clan cultures have similar goals and values. Also, veteran employees typically mentor newer employees, which can promote productivity and loyalty.

Critics of clan culture argue that clan cultures lack diversity and are less competitive than the other three cultures: adhocracy, market, and hierarchical cultures.

Adhocracy Culture

Adhocracy cultures are typically in tech and entrepreneurial environments; they focus on innovation and have a “high-risk, high-reward” mindset. Adhocracies also invest heavily in their employees and promote self-initiation. Adhocracies have managers and executives, but they are less rigid and less defined than positions in hierarchy cultures.

Remember that your company doesn’t have to be a tech company to have an adhocracy culture. Adhocracies basically wing things, which is how I live my life anyways…

Adhocracy critics argue that the lack of structure leads to unfinished projects and a blurry understanding of tasks.

Market Culture

This type of culture is results-oriented, typically found in companies with strong sales roles, and has a competitive environment. Market cultures encourage external competition, which is between businesses, and they encourage internal competition, which is among employees.

Market cultures are the epitome of capitalism – sink or swim. Performance is measured through achievements and regularly monitored. Poor performance is scrutinized while excellent performance is heavily rewarded.

Market cultures believe that they are as strong as their weakest employee, so they set difficult goals and expect employees to meet or excel goals.

Market culture critics argue that competitive environments lead to hostility, dishonesty and unethical practices, and low worker satisfaction. The combination of these results may also result in discouragement and unproductive work.


Hierarchy Culture

Businesses with a hierarchy culture are more controlled and stable; these businesses usually have vertical growth and dedicated managers for each employee level.

Hierarchy cultures have clearly defined structures, and employees and tasks are ranked by importance. Hierarchies, unlike adhocracy cultures, have a top-down control.

Defined tasks and strong oversight drive productivity, growth, and make hierarchical businesses competitive; however, like the other three company cultures, hierarchical cultures come with problems of their own.

Hierarchical businesses respond slowly to innovation, market trends, and may snuff-out creativity and individual initiative.









I don’t think one extreme of a culture type is right or wrong. Like worklife and relationships, companies should have a balance. Like a… clan-hierarchical-adhoc-marketing culture. A CHAM. Almost spelled like “CHAMP,” but then not really… you get the idea.


Companies should adjust according to employee feedback or focus on hiring employees that match the company’s personality.

Remember that it is up to you, employer and employee, to determine if a company is a good fit and what kind of people you want working for/with you; you should write a list of things you like about your favorite companies and see if your company aligns with those same values and practices.

It’s important for managers to establish a culture, adjust it, and have employees and managers align with those established values unless you want a turnover rate that’s comparable to retail. And you do want your employees to be happy and successful… right?

After all, good employees stay with companies they enjoy working for – you should be the company that employees can bring home to their mother because your company is their future.

A company is only as good as it’s employees, and all the good employees are going to the good companies.

There are numerous websites that review companies, and it is good to take a look at your company’s reviews, whether you are a job seeker or an employer. Employers and employees should assess their company and the people within it to determine what changes, if any, should be made.

Are you a business owner? Are you an employee? Then find out what your company culture is! Take our fun and quick quiz, below, to find out! Happy quizzing!





4 Types of Organizational Culture

What is Adhocracy

What is Clan Culture

What is Market Culture

What is Hierarchical Culture

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About the Author:

Sophia Tinsley is XTech Staffing’s Marketing Specialist and writes career-advice related articles and content for the website. She also manages XTech’s social media platforms. Sophia recently graduated from Texas State University where she earned her BBA with a major in Marketing. She is the crazy cat lady of the office and the embodiment of Michael Scott – she always has wacky ideas. Sophia also writes for her personal fashion blog and creates movie trailers as hobbies. She thinks she’s unique, but likes all things “basic” (i.e. Starbucks). And if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, then you and Sophia will get along swimmingly.
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