Finding the right job is more than just finding the right compensation package. Discovering long-term happiness in a job also means identifying a company culture that resonates with your values and what matters most to you.
In this article, we examine the importance of company culture and also provide you with tips to evaluate the work culture of perspective future employers.
The Importance of Company Culture
In a Gallup report, employees who were quietly quitting were surveyed about what they would change about their current workplace.¹ These three were the top answers:
- 41% Culture or Engagement
- 28% Pay and Benefits
- 16% Well-being
Based on these results, better culture and engagement is the most desired change! While we may often be attracted to a job based on its pay and benefits, ultimately culture and engagement determine whether we stick around.
According to Great Place to Work, there are three main criteria.² Here is how a company culture can affect an employee’s career:
A solid company culture starts with trust, and that trust begins with you. You’ve got to believe that your leadership’s actions align with their words. It’s all about honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. When you trust your leaders and find them credible, the effects are significant.
Your job satisfaction skyrockets, motivation peaks, and your commitment to the company strengthens over the long run.
Fairness means fostering equal opportunities and just compensation. When you trust your organization maintains a level playing field with equitable recognition and compensation, your experience turns notably positive. Equity cultivates a deep sense of justice and equality, elevating employee satisfaction and engagement.
Workplaces supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives often create more opportunities for individuals with disabilities, contributing to a more inclusive and enriching work environment.
Respect is more than acknowledgment; it’s a genuine appreciation for you as an individual with a life beyond work. A culture based on respect values your contributions, welcomes your perspectives, and provides flexibility in your work arrangements.
When you encounter respect, trust, and the support to pursue your professional goals while balancing your personal life, your engagement, dedication, and commitment to the company flourish. Respect creates a nurturing and empowering work environment where diversity and inclusion thrive.
Related Article: Set the Right Foundations: What is Belonging in the Workplace?
Make Sound Career Decisions: How to Evaluate Company Culture
Now that you understand the importance of company culture, let’s look at the steps you can take to assess the culture of any potential employer. Here are five practices you can apply.
1. Identify what you are looking for in your next job.
In finding your next job and getting to know a potential employer’s organizational culture, you must first identify your priorities. Ask yourself what you are looking for in your next job. Create a list and use that to research potential employers.
According to Gallup, there are common things that most employees look for in their next jobs.³ What matters most to you?
- 61% Better work-life balance and personal wellbeing
- 58% To be able to do what they do best
- 53% Greater job stability and security
- 42% Diversity and inclusion
2. Learn about the company’s reputation.
Once you have identified your priorities, research the company’s culture and how it aligns with your priorities. Start by connecting with people in your professional network who currently work for or have previously worked for the company.
You can do online research on sites such as Glassdoor, Google Reviews, and Indeed. These platforms will have various tools for you to research a company and hear what other employees past and present think of them.
Related Article: Improve Your Job Search Online, Look Beyond Job Titles!
3. Assess how the company presents itself.
You can further assess a company’s values and priorities by reading its mission statement and “about us” page online. You can follow this up by reviewing their social media and press releases. Look for their tone, the causes they support, and their stated priorities.
For instance, their commitment to diversity and inclusion. An inclusive company will often explicitly state its values regarding diversity, equality, and inclusion in these documents. They may highlight their efforts to create a workplace where everyone is seen, valued, and appreciated, regardless of their differences.
4. Observe their work environment.
Being invited to an on-site interview is an excellent way to learn about an employer’s company culture. During the interview, pay attention to the atmosphere in the office.
- Are the employees interacting with each other?
- Do they greet you when you pass by?
- Are there smiles on their faces?
- Do the people look frustrated or tired?
While you may only be getting a very limited snapshot of a company in this way, this can help give you an idea of if you’d like to work there.
5. Ask the right questions during your interview.
You can also assess a company’s work culture by asking questions during the interview:
- What is the best part of working here?
- What are the company’s ways of supporting professional development and growth?
- What are the leaders’ management styles like?
- How do you observe the company’s core values within the company?
- What nonprofits and philanthropic causes do the company support?
6. Evaluate the hiring process.
Gauge your experience during the hiring process.
You can ask yourself:
- How quickly did they get back to me?
- Were they professional in their conduct?
- Were they transparent in their communication?
- Were they eager to answer my questions?
This can offer insights into the company’s efficiency, communication style, and their commitment to fostering a positive candidate experience.
7. Listen to your instincts.
Ultimately, trust your instincts when assessing a company’s culture. During interviews and interactions with current employees, pay close attention to how you feel:
- Are you excited about the prospect of working there?
- Do you feel engaged and aligned with your values?
First impressions often convey a lot about what to expect. Your intuition can be a valuable compass in your job search.
FIND A MEANINGFUL AND REWARDING CAREER WITH PEAK PERFORMERS
A great company culture cultivates an environment that supports career growth. Peak Performers can help you find a temporary or permanent job that aligns with your own values and priorities. Since 1994 we’ve been helping job seekers find careers and helping clients find great talent.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our career opportunities.
1. “State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report.” Gallup, www.gallup.com/state-of-the-global-workplace. 13 Oct. 2023.
2. Hastwell, Claire. “The 8 Elements of Great Company Culture.” 8 June 2023, https://www.greatplacetowork.com/resources/blog/elements-of-great-company-culture.
3. Wigert, Ben. “The Top 6 Things Employees Want in Their Next Job.” Gallup, 21 Feb. 2022, www.gallup.com/top-things-employees-next-job.