Good company culture is beneficial for both employees and the company.
Whether you’re deciding to accept a job offer from a new employer or you’re looking for a job, one of the most important aspects of your professional life will be the workplace culture. The office or organization’s environment or “vibe” is so powerful that it can make or break your job experience and result either in your long-term employment or, in the worst circumstances, your speedy retreat back to the job market.
But what sorts of things determine or reflect a good company culture? It’s often a little difficult to articulate, but there are concrete, quantifiable factors to watch out for that indicate both the health of a company or workplace and of employees’ happiness levels at work.
Important Indications Of Good Company Culture
Here are the most important things to look for that reveal if your new job will turn out to be a great place to work:
Long-term employees: Employee turnover is a strong indicator of good company culture. Simply put, happy, engaged employees who are offered continued opportunities for growth are more likely to stay put. If you can, ask your new boss or HR representative how long the other people in your department have been employed with the company. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that just yet, ask your new coworkers when they started working there and what the turnover is like.
Not just colleagues, but friends: A great work environment is a breeding ground for genuine friendships. When coworkers choose to spend time with each other, even outside of the office, you know that the professional dynamic is going to be just as positive.
Workplace involvement: A good company culture support involvement and provide positive, fun ways for their employees to get together for personal and professional development activities, both within and outside normal company hours. And the success of the company culture is indicated in the level of involvement by each employee. For example, if the company is sponsoring a charity event or fundraiser on a Saturday morning and most everyone in the organization shows up willingly, you know that the employees feel invested and excited to be there. On the other hand, make sure the company does not expect you to give up too much of your personal time. You want to make sure you have an excellent work/life balance.
Transparency: Secrets or a lack of communication from the top down creates a culture of insecurity and uncertainty. Workplaces with positive cultures support a philosophy of transparency so that every team member feels they know where they stand and where the company is headed.
Clear mission and values: A good company culture doesn’t just manifest itself out of thin air. First, it has to be articulated and communicated throughout the organization, and then it can be lived out by the leadership and employees at every level. Positive company culture has values that every employee knows by heart. These values and this mission are accessible and branded into all of the company’s internal and external communications.
Diversity: If everyone in an organization fits the same demographic, that should be a red flag in terms of culture. Great companies and institutions embrace diversity in hiring, diversity in thought and diversity in approaches. This should be reflected in the teams and employees you interact with daily.
Wins are celebrated: Great companies have clear and frequent processes in place for recognizing the achievements of their employees on a regular basis. This shows that a good company culture makes recognizing performance a priority and announces to everyone the value its employees bring.
Leaders are visible and accessible: Employees support leaders who are transparent, accessible, honest and transparent. When an organization’s leaders are front and center and make themselves available to everyone, it creates a sense that “we’re all in this together,” and employees are much more likely to feel good about the goals they’re working towards and the company’s mission.
Comfortable workspaces: The type of physical environment that employees work in each day can go a long way in determining how people feel about their jobs and their employer. Comfortable workspaces with amenities and perks that people care about contribute significantly to morale levels. Ask your potential employer what type of perks and amenities they offer at their workplace. Some places will offer free food, stipends for lunch or supplies, conveniently located offices spaces and more to attract and keep employees.
Absence of office politics: Positive workspace and good company culture where each employee feels valued and heard. Healthy work environments never include gossip or office politics. While a small amount of this happens in any group setting, it should be the exception, not the rule.
Ongoing professional development opportunities: Job satisfaction is closely tied to opportunities employees have for growth, advancement, learning and promotions. Organizations with strong infrastructures that support employee growth, both in philosophy and with actual resources and budgets validate their commitment to each employee's professional development and foster a strong sense of culture and community.