There are a lot of different criteria to consider before accepting any job such as salary, location, and the job itself. Very few people consider the culture of the company and they should.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics over 2 million people quit their job every month.
There’s a lot of data suggesting why so many people are leaving their jobs including:
1. Lack of recognition.
2. Don’t like internal politics.
3. Don’t feel empowered.
4. Lack of autonomy.
5. Don’t connect with the company.
All of these reasons can be summed up with not being aligned with the culture of the company.
How do you figure out what type of culture the company has before you sign up? If you don’t have friends already working at the company that you can ask following are some ways to figure it out.
Check out the career section to see if there are testimonials provided by internal employees regarding the culture. Most companies will provide a value statement on their website. In addition, look for the company’s commitment to having a diverse workforce.
Search for Reviews of the Company
Glassdoor provides reviews on companies from existing employees. If multiple people are saying the same thing regarding what it’s like to work for the company and it isn’t good, talk to the recruiter or hiring manager about the reviews. Give the company the opportunity to explain what might have happened and what steps they’ve taken to correct the situation.
Questions to Ask
I like to ask these questions during the interview. If there isn’t time, make sure you ask them before you accept the job.
1. Can you tell me about the corporate culture?
2. Why did you decide to accept a job at the company?
3. What do you like best about working for the company?
4. What do you like least about working for the company?
One final question to ask is whether the company conducts an employee engagement survey? This is a survey conducted by an external company that collects information anonymously from employees on their satisfaction with how the company treats them. Most companies won’t participate in one of these surveys unless they are committed to listening to the results and acting on them.
Size of the Company Can Dictate Culture
Generally speaking, the larger the company the more policies and procedures, the more structured and less flexible the company will be. Mid-sized companies still can afford some flexibility and there normally aren’t too many layers to go through to get a decision. Start-ups and small companies are the most flexible and less structured. There are pros and cons to working in any of these sized companies. Knowing the size that will work for you is another way of deciding whether the culture is right for you.
A little research up front might save you from culture shock later.