9 unwritten rules of a corporate culture

Most companies have many unwritten rules. You have to discover what these are if you want to get your new boss on your side.

1. What is the situation with regards to being punctual for meetings? Who is allowed to turn up late and how late?

2. How binding or non-binding are agreements? This applies especially to agreements that affect you and come from your boss.

3. How can criticism be voiced? Can your line manager also take constructive criticism or is that a big no-no?

4. What is the situation in terms of the number of hours that you are actually expected to work? Will you get a disapproving look if you dare to go home at 7 p.m. after a 10-hour day at work and leave the office before your boss?

5. Who goes to the cafeteria together at lunchtime? Is it OK if you sit at the same table as your line manager? Are there tables which are reserved for particular levels in the hierarchy?

6. Does the company have an open door policy where you can talk with your boss at any time or do you have to make an appointment?

7. How does your boss deal with conflict? There are companies, for example, where conflicts are simply unwelcome. As a result, conflicts are covered up, not discussed and silently swept under the carpet.

8. How are decisions made? Does your boss involve you and other colleagues in the decision-making process? Does he/she discuss alternatives with you or are you simply presented with a fait accompli?

9. And one last very touchy subject: May you drive a car in the same class as your line manager?

Dr. Christiane Drühe-Wienholt

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