What is Company Culture?

Heather Diemer - Friday, September 07, 2018

Written by Nave Newell’s First Impressions Officer – Danielle Lapteff

This weekend, a friend of mine was talking about an upcoming job interview. He’d read that he should inquire about company culture. The problem was that he wasn’t sure what that actually meant. Even though he had worked at a few different places, none of those companies had ever made a point to focus on culture. This made me realize that before Nave Newell, none of the companies I’d worked for did either. I took a long pause, because culture is something I focus on every day at Nave Newell.

From our thirty fundamentals that shape the way we handle every interaction (both internally and externally) to our Monday morning meetings where we gather as a team to discuss who we are and how we can continue to grow, our culture is noticeably evident.  

It is clear to me that this firm would be a very different place if company culture didn’t exist.  So why doesn’t every company have this? Why aren’t they sharing examples on their social media? We can’t be the only ones that realize how having something like our Nave Newell Way can really make a difference, right?

Company Culture Defined

I looked up company culture and one of the first things I found said that it is the “values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization.”  Seems simple enough… but looking back, I realized that if every company I had worked for before had a clearly defined, positive culture, I may not have been so quick to leave. The culture is definitely one of the main reasons that I keep celebrating anniversaries here at Nave Newell.

The Nave Newell Way


Our values and behaviors are the first things discussed when you join the firm. In fact, it comes up in the interview. I guess that’s the best way to develop a team that really supports the culture - hire people who are already along that mind set. We strive to do the best job we can and to be the best in our field, but also to be good people. We make a difference in the community; each employee is free to bring their cause to the table. We strive to grow and learn as well as to teach, working with mentoring programs, interns and co-ops. We keep positive and assume the best in others.  It’s not even just in the office - we take these qualities home with us.

We are a small firm, so there are no strangers. Most of us know a lot about each other’s personal lives. We celebrate marriages, babies, and new homes. When someone seems down, you can bet at least five people will offer to listen or ask if they can help. We put our families first and in doing so we become family.

Greg Newell once told me that we all spend more time in this office than anywhere else and he wanted to make it a place we looked forward to walking into every day.  He is constantly trying to think of ways to make sure the staff have what they need and feel appreciated. In fact, a big part of my position here at Nave Newell is to do just that.  I plan activities and events to help relieve stress, promote wellness, and encourage everyone to have fun. Not many companies have what is essentially an employee motivator walking around, but that just drives the message of our culture even further.

Thinking about all of this, I was able to tell my friend that he should definitely ask about the company culture. Then I told him that if they didn’t have one, he should run.

Want to better understand the culture of a company?

Here are 5 questions to ask during your next job interview:

  1. What do you enjoy most about working here?
  2. What motivates you to come to work each day?
  3. How do your employees support each other?
  4. How are achievements celebrated?
  5. How are challenges and mistakes handled?


Does our culture seem like a good fit for you? See what opportunities we currently have available.

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We specialize in providing civil engineering, land surveying, land planning, and landscape architecture services to the communities within Chester County, PA; Delaware County, PA; Montgomery County, PA; Bucks County, PA; and the City of Philadelphia. Our portfolio also includes work throughout DE, MD, NJ, and VA.