5 ways to learn more about the corporate culture (before accepting the job)
According to a new study conducted by Bamboo HR, nearly 1 in 5 employees are looking for a new job due to the declining corporate culture. Additionally, research has revealed significant disconnections between managers and employees on various aspects of culture. Human resources professionals are also feeling the pressure, with almost a quarter of human resources managers (22%) saying that working remotely has caused them to spend most of the work day on tasks they dislike or hate.
Corporate culture (also known as organizational, corporate or workplace culture) is defined as the common values and characteristics of an organization. It includes a variety of elements, including the values, mission, ethics, goals and expectations of the company. Organizations can have a variety of different cultures. For example, some companies work as a team, while others encourage individual success. In some cases, you will find that line management is valued while other companies prefer a more relaxed workplace.
Ideally, you want to work for a company whose culture is aligned with your values. But how do you know what the corporate culture looks like if you’ve never worked there? Let’s take a look at five ways to learn about the corporate culture before accepting the job offer.
Research the corporate culture
An organization’s website is a great place to research corporate culture. Pay close attention to the mission statement, blog, and careers section. The mission statement will give you an overview of the values and priorities of the organization. If a mission statement doesn’t exist, the business may lack a long-term vision. The corporate blog should reflect a culture where employees are valued. If there isn’t a blog culture where multiple staff members contribute, it may be a sign that workers don’t feel their voice matters. Also check out the Careers section for an overview of what it’s like to work there. Usually, companies include information like compensation, benefits, rewards, employee videos, and other valuable information. Examining corporate social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn will also provide insight into the organization’s priorities. Finally, create a Google Alert to stay on top of the latest news and announcements.
Find employee feedback
Networking with employees is always a good idea. Former employees will most likely be willing to share honest, unfiltered feedback. Consider using social media sites like LinkedIn to connect and post to current or former workers. You can also expand your search to employee review websites. Sites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Comparably, and CareerBliss provide reviews of companies. Look for red flags like multiple reviews that describe similar negative experiences. A bad review can be just an isolated case. But ten or more can be of concern.
Learn about the corporate culture during the interview
It is good to ask questions about the company culture directly during the interview process. Usually a recruiter or hiring manager will be available, even if they only give you a general idea. Here are some examples of questions to ask during the interview:
- Why do you like working here?
- How would you describe the corporate culture?
- What makes the corporate culture unique?
- How would you describe the work environment?
- What if you participate in activities outside of work?
These types of questions will keep the culture in shape at the forefront of the conversation and help you determine if you are a good match.
Notice how you were treated during the process
How you are treated during the interview process is a critical indicator of how the business is run. Usually it’s also a preview of what’s to come. So after your conversations, take the time to reflect on your experience. For example, have you been treated professionally? Have you spoken to a wide variety of employees? Were there any instances where you felt uncomfortable? By listening to your intuition, you may be able to avoid making a mistake that you will later regret.
Pay attention to your surroundings
Arriving early for the on-site interview will allow you to observe the office environment. Try to get a feel for the overall energy in the office and observe how people interact. Do the employees seem happy to work there? Does this sound like an environment you would like to work in? Are the employees friendly to you? Try to make sure it’s the kind of environment that prompts you to jump out of bed for work every day.
According to CareerBuilder, 44% of employees prefer a positive work culture over pay when considering a position. And a SHRM study revealed that a fifth of workers said a toxic work culture forced them to quit a job. Obviously, corporate culture is linked to job satisfaction. And it’s not about getting extravagant benefits. Culture must go beyond extrinsic rewards to include a clear mission to which employees feel connected and inspired. Let’s face it, at least a third of your life is spent at work. And you’re not going to get that time back. So make sure you do your due diligence before accepting the job offer to make sure it’s right for you. You will be glad you did.