Always be mindful of corporate culture

One of the aspects often overlooked by job applicants is the corporate culture of the company for which they hope to work.

The determination to land a job tends to cloud thoughts on what happens once contracts have been signed and parking spaces allocated.

While you may have met your new boss and possibly one or two other senior managers during the interview, you really have no idea about your new colleagues and what the culture of the business may be.

Happier work environment

Failing to take heed of these circumstances can lead to great unhappiness down the line. A study by Mecer showed that despite many Americans being desperate to find work, 32% of those who had a job were unhappy for one or all of the following reasons:

  • They didn’t like their boss;
  • A lack of empowerment;
  • Internal politics; and
  • Lack of recognition

While a career is very important, it should not mean that our days are spent wallowing in unhappiness and that workers don’t share a laugh or two with colleagues. It is repeatedly shown that happier work environments make for improved productivity.

The best employers will introduce a candidate to the staff, even though they may not necessarily land the job. This not only leaves him or her with the sense that their happiness is also important, but that even in the event of them missing out on the position, every effort has been made to be candid about the workplace.

There are however certain telltale signs to look out for that can indicate a corporate culture may not be up to scratch.

One of the first things to consider is the so-called “sick building” syndrome. If the building is run down and shows no signs of improvement, chances are that the people who work there will not be happy.

Happiness beyond the pay cheque

A large study found that sick building syndrome was associated with poor supervisor support and a perception of poor physical environment conditions at work. An association with poor air quality was also made.

Another aspect to be weary of upon visiting the premises for the first time is to notice whether there is a “buzz” in the air. That is, have a look to see whether employees are constantly moving around and chatting enthusiastically to one another. This suggests a high level of productivity for which everyone is happy to strive.

A macabre mood suggests people are simply doing the job for a pay cheque and nothing more.

The best indicator of a healthy corporate culture is also one in which workers are amiable towards one another. While it is understood that people want to go home to their families after work, friendships with co-workers after hours suggests that the work environment is one where like-minded people are able to get along well.

This means that they will be able to work together without too much fear of conflict.