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?
Follow these 6 signs
to assess the culture of your next, potential employer
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.