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We all know that job searching is one of the most stressful endeavors in a person’s life, right next to getting divorced and buying a house. Your job is where you will spend a third of your day, 5 days a week for the foreseeable future. So make sure you will be at a place where you’re happy! Recognize the 6 signs of a good workplace culture when job searching.
Working at a place that is fair and treats you well will not only help you excel in your career but will also help you maintain good mental health so you can also flourish in your personal life. Working at a toxic job can affect you negatively in all sorts of ways, so you should do your best to prevent this from happening!
The best time to set yourself up for success to look for the signs of a good workplace culture is when you are job searching. Of course, just because a company does not demonstrate the signs of a good workplace culture does not automatically mean they have bad culture. That is up to your judgement to decide. But below are 6 signs of good workplace culture when job searching to help you.
6 Signs of good workplace culture when job searching
They treat you with respect during the interview process
We all know the interview process can be demoralizing. Usually there is an imbalance in the power dynamic where you need the company more than they need you. This is because there are hundreds of applicants the company can choose from for the position.
As a result, companies tend to not treat applicants very well because you are disposable and replaceable. Companies who do treat you with respect, even though you are disposable and replaceable, is a sign of a good workplace culture.
During the interview process, they will also try to convince you of why you should work there. They will sell themselves as well, instead of dangling the job like a carrot that you are supposed to chase.
A job should be mutually beneficial for both parties, and they will treat it as such.
The interview process should also be transparent with clear communication. The company will tell you exactly what to expect, when you should hear from them, and then follow through with communication.
They will also care about you as a person. They may ask some personal questions to find out about your interests or hobbies. They want to know you are a well rounded, whole person and not just an employee to produces results.
The job description is clear
A sign of a good workplace culture when job searching is when the job description is clear. Your roles and responsibilities are laid out. This leaves little room for miscommunication and misalignment. This also shows that management has clear vision and direction.
When you ask in the interview, the hiring manager can clearly communicate what the expectations are for the role are and what it will take for you to succeed at it. It is clear how you will be evaluated and how you will get your bonus or raises.
You will know exactly what is expected of you.
Employees having casual conversations with each other
If you see a happy and casual atmosphere when you walk in for your interview, this is definitely a sign of a good workplace culture. Employees having casual conversations with each other means that the workplace is relaxed enough that employees feel they can take a break when they need to.
Employees are not so overworked and overwhelmed that they cannot take a break. The company does not have an insane work ethic expectation. The place is not so micromanaged that they monitor employees taking a casual break.
Employees take breaks based on their needs, not the needs of the company.
Coworkers also like each other enough to have a non work-related conversation. This means employees are generally happy. A good workplace culture creates happy employees!
The position is available because the previous person was promoted, or the company is expanding
A sign of a good workplace culture in a company is when they promote internally. This means they care about employee development and will give employees opportunities to grow their career.
A company expanding is not necessarily a sign of a good workplace culture, but it is a sign that the company is in good financial health. This means there is more job security and there is less chances you will be laid off. An exception to this is if a company tries to grow too fast or did not make enough profits as they had anticipated.
The average tenure of employees is long, but not too long
If a company has a good workplace culture, employees will want to stay there. There will be low turnover. Ask the hiring manager what the average tenure of employees on the team are. In my opinion, an average tenure of 4 years in a position is good.
If the average tenure is very short, they may have had to hire many new people to replace all the people who left. Again, an exception is if the company is expanding.
On the flip side, you do not want the average tenure of employees (in the same position) to be too long either. Having a long average tenure means people may be stagnant in their roles. The company may not develop their employees very well and may not promote internally often.
You do not want to work at a company that will not give you opportunities.
Working with colleagues who have a long tenure may also be difficult. They may be very set in their ways and can be difficult to collaborate with.
When I say the average tenure of an employee should not be too long, I mean the average tenure in the same position. If employees have been at the company for 10-20 years, but they have been promoted several times and have had several positions, then that is great! That’s a sign of good workplace culture when they promote internally!
There is diversity on all levels, and in all aspects
This is one of my favourite signs of a good workplace culture when job searching. The company has diversity and inclusivity. There is diversity in the different levels of management, especially with sexes and ethnicities. This shows they give opportunities to all people.
Diversity in management is something to pay attention to, as most executive level positions are filled with Caucasian males. If you are a female or are of ethnic culture, look at who is in management positions at the company. If you are not currently represented on the management level, you will probably not be given the opportunity to represent in the future.
The company should also have diversity in experience level and ages as well. If the company only employs young people, is this so they can exploit the below market rate they can pay them? Are they taking advantage of how desperate young generations are to find employment? Is their entire compensation package so low that they cannot attract top experienced talent?
On the other hand, if the company only employs exclusively older generations, is this because they are not progressive? Are they too set in their ways and unwilling to adapt and change? If this is the case, then the company may not last for very long.
Businesses always need to adapt and innovate to survive.
So there you have it, 6 signs of a good workplace culture when job searching. With all the efforts it takes to get a job, make sure you’re getting one with a good company!