Subscribing to a company's culture

Buying in can mean workers consider the organization part of themselves. In many cases, employees not only get on board with a company’s stated mission, but also the culture, and feel like they share values with the organization.

But while many workers buy in to the companies they work for when they’re first hired, some people find their enthusiasm fades. Several factors can lead to a loss of buy-in, like when workers believe companies fail to live up to their values or feel there’s an uneven exchange between employee and employer


Can you get ahead at work if you don't 'buy in'?

These days, jobs are less and less about pure security and safety needs, and more and more about identity and belonging needs and even self-actualization.

Employers and potential workers expect to share the same core values. Indeed, research shows workers increasingly value working for mission-driven companies, whose causes they care for.


Many workers do see the work they do as meaningfully contributing to their company’s overall mission. And as an increasing number of companies advertise themselves as mission-based to attract talent, especially in dense industries, employee buy-in has become a major part of some corporate cultures. 

Buy-in can also help an employee emotionally navigate potential turmoil during their tenure, something particularly prevalent in start-ups and creative industries.: People hate uncertainty and in order to tolerate that, you have to really believe that it's there for a reason and that you’re doing it for a reason.


As you start to doubt your company’s mission or think it's hypocritical, the impacts on your motivation are astounding. Without this motivation, employees are far less likely to receive recognition or promotions for their work.

Distinguishing between acceptable and unacceptable expectations of buy-in from companies is a very individualized decision. If you don't actually buy in but still stick to your work, it is possible to get ahead – it just won't be as personally rewarding


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