Four Clues On Culture Before Taking The Leap

One of the biggest fears in starting a career, changing a career or jumping into a new job is obvious; Is this a great place to work? It’s one of the toughest to answer as great to one person is not the same for the other.  Here are four clues about an organization’s culture that are there for the taking. You just have to take the time to research, figure out what is important to you and to well…notice.

Customer Feedback: What do the customers' say about the organization? This translates across most industries even healthcare.   If customers are satisfied, chances are the culture is strong and vibrant.  In fact, when is the last time you saw happy customers and unhappy employees?  Reverse this question and I think it’s telling to an organization’s commitment to its employees.

Employee Feedback: There are plenty of ways to sleuth about a company’s culture such as Fortune’s “100 Best Places to Work," "Ten Best Tech Companies in Boston," " Best Places to Work Seattle,” even, “The 153 Best Company Cultures in America” and on and on.  You can research Glassdoor, Indeed.com even LinkedIn.  If you don’t know someone that works there, you can make your best assumption based on a little bit of research.

Digital Presence: What does an organization’s digital presence say about their culture?  Does it appear structured with process in order to deliver consistent customer satisfaction? Or is it fast paced and entrepreneurial, high on risk taking, innovation and low on repercussion for human error? Is it a place that cares about the community, society? If so how?  Do the words and adjectives and the vibe on their website, perk you up or leave you wondering?

Leadership: Leadership drives the bus!  Is the leadership of the organization diverse? What is their short and long term strategy to drive the organization toward success?  Is there an open door policy and is this stated? Are they thought leaders within their industry? Do they value work life balance and how do they demonstrate this?  Are they responsible in delivering their fiduciary duties to their stakeholders while simultaneously investing in innovation, the community and their employees?

When you find the perfect organization that lines up with your definition of a great culture, what questions do you have for the leadership team when you are in the interview?  Being prepped for the interview to answer what you want in addition to what the organization wants is critical.  As author Rosabeth Moss Kanter discusses in her HBR article, How Great Companies Think Differently; “Great companies invest in the future while being aware of the need to build people and society.”  To me, that is a winning combination

denise durgin