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company culture

How to Figure Out A Company's Culture Before You Work There

By shaheryar | Latest-Updates | 29 Oct 2020


In my career, I have switched many jobs in search of the perfect working environment. I kept on eagerly searching for a firm that has a good work culture because I prefer a pleasing work culture over a good salary. This belief of mine is backed by research that shows around 44% of employees favor the same.  

Unfortunately, I have spent a good chunk of my professional life in finding a company with a good culture. Therefore, I decided to help others find a company with a great culture and work environment. Many believe that knowing the vibes and values of a firm is impossible without working there. However, it is just a myth, and I am going to prove it in this article.

Let me share some practical ways of knowing the work culture before starting your full-time job:

Company Culture

There is no fixed definition of company culture. It is an amalgamation of stated and unstated and formal and informal rules, norms, and values that govern the way people work and interact with each other in the workplace. However, the key components of a company culture include:

  • Growth opportunities
  • Cooperation and collaboration among employees
  • Employee engagement and satisfaction
  • Leadership
  • Benefits and perks
  • Work flexibility

How to Figure Out A Company's Culture?

It is a little tricky to determine a company's culture without actually working there. However, there are some ways in which you can get a pretty good idea. Firstly, arm yourself with thorough research about the company's culture before an interview. This will make it easier for you to ask relevant questions. Secondly, instead of directly asking someone about their company culture, ask questions that will shed light on cultural elements.

Here are a few more tips:

1.Glassdoor

Glassdoor is a hub of company reviews; the site displays company feedback from the current as well as ex-employees. Besides this, it also gives an annual rating. However, do not just believe in the ratings as they are based on multiple things like salaries, growth, employee satisfaction, etc. Make sure to read the reviews in detail to find information that interests you.

2.Social Media

Every company may not be present on all social networking sites. However, you can find several of them on LinkedIn and Twitter. Check all the sites and notice the conversational tone in comments. See if it is friendly, witty, professional, or commanding. Also, notice how responsive the company is. You can also post a question to see the company's response.

3.Networking

When you’re looking for a new job, numbers matter, so take time to build your network. But be sure to do it in a smart way: Blasting invitations at complete strangers in the hopes of connecting with either them or people they are connected with is not a good strategy. Instead, look for legitimate connections you have with people — your alma mater, for example — and reach out with an invitation to connect that includes a personal note.

Good working culture gives a good name to the company. Thus, firms having a sound culture have a good-will in the market. You can join different networking pages on Facebook and post a query regarding a company's culture. For instance, some big names like Twitter, Google, Zappos, Nike, Proof Hub, and many others are famous for their culture.

4.Customer Reviews

Though you are planning to join a company as an employee, you should be aware of its relations with the customers. A company providing 100% customer satisfaction must be having a great work culture. It is because employee satisfaction is directly proportional to productivity. You can also have a look at the testimonial section on the website. Read the Google reviews and also go through the reviews on social media sites.

5.Quora

If you have researched any topic before, you must know about Quora. This is the platform where you can ask any question, and you will get the answer. You can also ask a question about the firm's culture, which you are planning to join. Quora is a forum where a lot of industry experts and professionals give their advice for free. It's a great place to get some pros and cons to the firm you are planning to join.

6.News About the Company

Sign in for the company's newsletter. Also, go through the latest news about the firm. You can easily search on Google like "latest news about ABC firm" or use Twitter for the research. Besides, take a look at the company's public relations – what kind of news surface about the company? For example, a coaxial cable manufacturer could be in the news for receiving a local quality award. Similarly, another company could be in the news for handling a crisis effectively or helping their local community during a crisis. These types of news can give you an idea of the company's culture. 

7.Review Sites

Other than Glassdoor, you can also visit sites like Indeed, Career Bliss, The Muse, and many others. All these sites provide reviews about different firms. Also, look at the ratings. However, do not make your decision based on a single negative review. Conduct thorough research and then evaluate it in the end.

8.Company Website

Since employees are becoming more and more concerned about the company's culture, firms have started focusing on their websites. Today, we can easily notice a career page or a page showing work culture on a website. Besides this, the "About Us" page and mission of the business provides good insights into the culture. Visiting just the home page of a website is the biggest mistake. If you want to get enough information, visit every page of the website. Read about the employee benefits, career growth, and other perks offered to employees.

9.Contact Former Employees

Social media and other methods of online communication have made it easier than ever to keep in touch with former employees—and there are good reasons why businesses may want to stay in contact with them and maintain positive relationships post-employment.

Though reviews are a reliable source but paid reviews are common these days. If you are in a dubious mind, contact any former employees of the company, or even the current ones. You can easily reach them via LinkedIn. Write a professional message about inquiring about the work culture. Show your concern about career growth and opportunities.

10.Ask Questions in An Interview

Attending an interview can either be an excitingly stressful process, or a dreadfully stressful one.  Either way, it is a stressful hour-or-so of your life and one common mistake that many people make is to fall at the last hurdle without even realising they have done it.

After exhaustive research, you must have developed a good idea about the company. You can ask the interviewee about the dynamics of the team working in the firm. How the leaders direct the members and what options are present to get help.  

Conclusion

In short, getting a fair idea about the firm's culture is possible. It's better to have profound knowledge about the company before signing in the contract letter. Twitter, LinkedIn, review sites, company's site, former employees, and networking are some reliable sources to inquire about the work culture.

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shaheryar
shaheryar

Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing.


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