6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Are you looking for a new job? Do you want to know if the company you have an interview with next week has a healthy, positive, and ethical work culture? What are the 6 signs to look for in a positive company culture?


We had fun collaborating with Walk Ethical who chatted to Carol Fraser to discover some of the signs to watch out for that can help through this process.

Follow these 6 signs

to assess the culture of your next, potential employer

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

What are the 6 signs of a positive company culture? Recession, changing industry hiring patterns and adjustments to the way we work are some of the harsh realities faced by thousands of job seekers around the world, amid the Covid-19 crisis. It may seem like a demotivating and frustrating journey with no end in sight. Due to circumstances, stress, and anxiety, you may feel like picking up any role that comes your way.

However, it is important to hold on and remember being in the wrong job and working for a company that does not suit your personality, can lead to further stress, and have a detrimental effect on your health and wellbeing.

We spend 8 hours of our day in a professional environment. We put a lot of our time and energy towards achieving goals and building relationships at work. So, it is equally important to consider the right company culture for you, when weighing up a new role or while preparing for a new job interview.

Based on our experiences we have outlined six signs to watch out for, that can help you determine whether a company follows ethical practices and has a healthy, positive work environment:



First Impressions Last

The first step in determining a company culture starts with the pre-interview process. Observe your interaction with the team, or the interviewer from the very first email or call. Note how the interviewer speaks to you or the way they sign off an email. This can tell you a lot about the company, its culture, and the general feeling among the team. 

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Suffice to say, just because someone signs off an email with “Sincerely” does not mean that the company has a formal culture. However, if this gives you a pause, then look for signs of flexibility. Did the interviewer give you multiple dates as an option for the interview? Did they let you lead the conversation during the phone call?

Social Media to the Rescue

After you have had your initial contact with the company, you can start with the easiest form of research – social media channels. By following conversations on the company’s various platforms, it should be straight-forward for you to determine their culture.

You can look for whether they showcase their employees on social media or do they applaud their suppliers and clients on their success. These posts or conversations, will give you an insight into whether the company has a culture of recognition and appreciation.

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Tone of Conversation at the Top

It is said, “people tend to leave bosses not organisations.” Bosses are one of the most commonly stated reasons for employee exits. Creating a “healthy culture” flows from the top and you can spot this by reading the company’s external communications – press releases, company blogs and news. 

Analyse the tone of these blogs – are there any words or phrases or values that are against your own? 

If the director of a company talks about “hustle” in one of the blogs, compare that with your priorities and see if it is the right fit for you when you are looking to raise your young family.

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Get an Insider’s Perspective into the Company

It is important to research not only the company but also the manager that you will be working with. You can find more information about the manager on their LinkedIn page, or sometimes on the company website. If you are part of the creative industry, you can also look through their portfolio and see if their work resonates with you.

However, one of the best sources of research is your own network. The world is now relatively a small place, where everyone knows everyone. Talk to your network, former employees to gain an insider’s view into the company. This combined with your other observations should give you a great insight into the company culture.

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Conversation During the Interview

During the interview process, make a note of the small things.

While most of us do not recall the exact conversation during an interview, it is important to take a note of your gut feeling. Learning to trust your gut is something we as humans learn through trial and error, however, keep an eye on any signs of unsettled feelings. 

Did you feel uncomfortable when the interviewer asked you if you have kids? Or did you think the atmosphere around the office was too relaxed for a non-Friday? Making a note of these signs will help you determine if the company environment is right for you.

6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

Ask Questions 

We all know the importance of asking the right questions during interviews. It not only helps you know more about the company, but also gives the interviewer insights into things that are important to you.  

Questions such as “Do you have a structured or unstructured environment?” or “What would success look like for this role?” will help you assess whether you will fit into the company.


6 Signs of a Positive Company Culture

One of the recommendations from Carol Fraser, Founder and Director of Fraser People was to ask, “what qualities do their most successful team members tend to have?” According to her, “You could get a standard response but how they answer will give some insight into who you will be working with”.

Working in a positive, healthy and ethical atmosphere can have a big impact on your overall job satisfaction and results. When it comes to assessing company culture, there’s no one-size-fits-all metric.

Know what your basic needs are, learn to trust your instincts and ask the right questions – this will help you make a fully informed decision about your next step. 

Good luck!

4 Steps to finding your career passion and working out what you really, really want

4 Steps to finding your career passion and working out what you really, really want

Career Passion

After a year like no other, I’ve had many conversations with people lately who have been reflecting on their career paths.  The world has changed and Covid has seen to that!  Some have experienced a change that was out of their control, others are feeling stuck and want a career change. They want to find their passion but have no idea how to go about it.  

1.     So how do you find out what’s “in” you?

You don’t find your passion, you ignite it from the inside out. It’s not a quick fix, it does take energy, self-reflection, courage, and a willingness to see things differently. 

To get started, get to know yourself a little more.

How would you answer these questions?

  • What are you doing when you get “lost” and time just flies?
  • If you were asked to teach somebody something, what would you choose?
  • What activity would you love to spend all day doing?
  • What were the things you really enjoyed, and what were the things that dragged you down about your current/past work?
  • What kind of people do you like working with?
  • What are your deal breakers, your values that you will not compromise on? 

These are just a sample of the questions that start to uncover what you love in life, what you don’t like, and what you care about.

Career Passion

Some of the buzzwords for 2020 have been to “pivot” in your career and utilise your “transferrable skills” to change roles or industries.

Do you have a good grasp on your “transferrable skills?”

Things like problem solving, communication, planning, or leadership?

2.     The important part

Write a complete list of all your skills, ask your friends if you like.  Which of these skills do you enjoy utilising? Which ones are OK? Which skills do you not enjoy using?

This is important to review, as you may be good at doing something, but you’ve burned yourself out doing it.

I'm Possible

3.    Now What?

Once you start to see a pattern, start looking at job ads. Don’t apply for any but save those that pique your interest – it doesn’t matter if you have no experience. Be playful – visualise yourself in that role.  Keep adding to the list.  Then go back and see what the common theme is to those roles.  What is standing out for you?

Start thinking about the “why” behind these desired jobs that stand out for you.

Think you’ve found your “jam?” Before you look too far ahead, start with one step to move forward – something that lights you up. Start with something that will allow your passion to grow from the inside.  Take an online class, attend a workshop, read books. There are so many options to begin to make that change that could lead to your next career move.

4.    Everything is scary until you do it

We are all afraid of trying something new for fear of failure. But finding your jam can give you a renewed sense of purpose, strengthen your career and ensure you maintain your focus.

You’ve invested a lot of time in your current career but taking the time for self-reflection could also reveal the elements you could preserve that would make you happy. 

Career Passion

Carol has over 15 years helping people with their career journeys as a coach and advisor.  She has held leadership roles within the banking and HR consulting sectors and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business – Human Resources Management from the University of Auckland.

Carol is passionate about supporting others’ career journeys, mentoring in the “Future Leaders Programme” at YWCA Auckland and with First Foundation, a trust founded to assist academically talented New Zealand students worthy of support to achieve their potential through tertiary education and to prepare them to positively influence and benefit their communities.

Always willing to help, Carol is available for practical one on one coaching.

7 Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

7 Ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

7 Ways to brighten someone's day

7 ways to Brighten Someone’s Day

Mental Health Awareness Week 21 – 27 Sept 2020

Every year in Aotearoa, we focus on Mental Health Awareness . There is no escaping that 2020 has created some huge challenges for us all, right across our daily lives.

This year’s theme, “Reimagine Wellbeing Together” He Tirohanga Anamata, encourages us to reflect on the big and small actions we’ve taken to take care of each other this year.

Sometimes it’s hard to reimagine what wellbeing looks like.  We all have mental wellbeing.  It can mean different things for us all. It’s a timely reminder to embrace the simple things we can do each day to really help strengthen our wellbeing. This can then can help us through the tough times.

There is a new theme each day – beginning with “Recharge with others” – Whiria te muka tangata.

Check out the Mentemia website where they have lots of daily activities, talks and tips for the week of Mental Health Awareness.  Want to help others and invite more joy into your life? Doing kind things for others floods your body with feel-good hormones – just like the ones you get from runner’s high.  Read their blog on 7 ways to Brighten Someone’s Day which include tiny yet thoughtful gestures that make the world a better place.  They will not only brighten your day but someone else’s.

Should I include my references in my CV?

Should I include my references in my CV?


Two people on couch holding heart signs over their faces

Should I include my references in my CV?

We get asked this a lot!  The short answer is no!

We do not recommend listing references on your CV. And here’s why…

In the early stages of an application process, recruiters and hiring managers are simply looking to get a high level understanding of your work experience.  You may be tempted to include your referee details within your CV to show some transparency or show these people can back up “I’m as great as I’m saying I am!”  

That’s understandable, however, there are some good reasons not to include them:

Protecting your

referees’ privacy 

There is personal information about that person sitting on your CV that could be distributed online. It could be uploaded to websites or job matching sites. They may not want their contact information shared with “the world.”

Respect for your

referees’ time

It protects your referees from any unsolicited calls. It also prevents people calling them before you have decided to progress any further with the application.



the process

Not including them allows you to have more control over who you nominate as your referees for a particular role. It gives you time to speak to them first. You can let them know who will be calling and you can brief them on the key points of the role.


Instead use the phrase “References available upon request”

  This line may sound like you are stating the obvious, but using it shows you are prepared.

Already gathered some great references and would like to show them off?


Create a Separate


Create a reference list in a separate document. Then when you are asked by a recruiter or potential employer for references, you can send them across quickly in a clear document. Do check for permission from anyone you plan to include! 

 Use Linked In

   Make sure your Linked In profile is up to date and ask for recommendations.  Recruiters and hiring managers will be checking out your profile, having up to date testimonials is another way to showcase your experience.












Application Form


Occasionally application forms will specifically ask for this information, which is fine and you should include it. Otherwise referees’ contact info should be on a “need to know” basis.

You want to make use of the space in your CV and make every word count.

Rule of thumb….. unless you are asked, don’t put references in your CV.

WFH … the new Acronym

WFH … the new Acronym

WFH - the new acronym

Saying goodbye to my sister after working together for only two weeks, not knowing when we would be seeing each other in person again was a little weird.  We had little preparation for what was ahead. But six weeks later I feel that I have the working from home (WFH – the new acronym) nailed.  I’m going to find it tough reverting back to the norm.

 For six weeks my husband and I have been closeted away in our home office working side by side.   This morning I asked him how we were going to feel when we once again joined the rat race?  He agreed that this lifestyle certainly suited him.

Reports on-line tell me that I am not alone in feeling this way. There is a massive shift is on the horizon.  Since the early 1970’s futurologists have been imagining home as a workplace.  Networked computers have meant there is a way to blend work and family life.  But many managers have been resistant to remote working. They have felt their workforce could not be directly monitored and that supervising from a distance posed too many challenges.

Yet there are many of us who possess self-motivation and discipline. We have the ability to work without direct supervision and the ability to cope with minimal social contact.  WFH is not for everyone especially those who crave the vibe of interaction with their colleagues, bumping shoulders with strangers or overhearing others talking in the office.

 The Covid-19 crisis has shone a light on both the pleasures and pressures of having home as your office.  Jumping from a Zoom meeting to domestic chores or taking the dog for a walk for some is a template for the good life.

When I took on my new role with Fraser People, working remotely was always part of the plan but something that would evolve over a long period.  With this upheaval it has shown how quickly we were able to adapt, and I think has actually given us a head start.

I’m looking forward to returning to my workplace alongside my sister. But now with the added flexibility of being able to spend days working at home.  An outcome that I know will be the new way of life for many New Zealanders.

The “C word”

The “C word”

 Fraser People the   

A new role, a pandemic, and being in lock down

What’s it like learning a new role during lock down? It’s been exciting, stressful, scary yet satisfying. Those are four words you would not normally see in the same sentence. But we are in a unique time that calls for a unique way of going about our daily tasks.  It’s fair to say we have nailed the “working remotely” challenge. We didn’t think this was possible until I had time to learn the ropes.  Now with the benefit of modern technology, it can be done!  There’s hope for other businesses who may be worried about making changes in this environment.

 What led me to working with my sister?

Carol turned her passion into “Fraser People” and singlehandedly grew her business to the point where she needed to expand. This was where my future lay.  I had been one of Carol’s greatest supporters and knew this was my chance to get inside her industry and learn from one of the best. The big question was: could two sisters work together?

After months of planning we took the plunge and I can honestly say it was a great decision. As sisters we can totally be ourselves, share a good laugh while being intuitive to each other’s needs.

What Do I Bring to Fraser People?

I’m a highly experienced executive assistant with a strong background in customer service. I enjoy seeing people get the best quality service they deserve.  Why say no, when there is always a solution?  I have advanced computer skills but still love to learn all I can and I pride myself in my ability to turn an idea into an eye-catching work of art.

In my new role as Client Services Manager for Fraser People I bring honesty, exceptional customer service whilst embracing the values that have made Fraser People the company it is today.