5 Tips to Know if a Workplace Culture is Right for You

Industry Resources
How to determine if a workplace culture is right for you

Navigating a company’s culture can be a stressful task for anyone in search of a job. What are the values of the company? How is conflict handled? Are employees happy there? These are all looming workplace-culture questions that play a vital role in deciding whether that company is the ideal fit for you.

At LCS, we genuinely value our company culture; it’s something we’ve meticulously nurtured and honed for decades. For 13 years and counting, LCS has been named one of Enquirer Media’s Top Workplaces in Cincinnati.

Scienceofpeople.com provides a surprising statistic—according to a survey of 5,000 workers, over half of people think a good workplace culture is more important than salary for job satisfaction. This shows the importance that employees place upon working in a positive atmosphere. So, what steps should you take to ensure a company’s culture is the perfect match for you?

1.  Understanding Yourself and Your Wants

Before you even begin the interview process, it is important to know what you’re looking for in a potential employer. Do you want a company that values respect and honesty? Or perhaps a company that pushes you to be innovative and think outside the box? Maybe you want a company that’s flexible, or a company that provides robust workplace benefits. There are all sorts of possibilities when it comes to different types of workplace cultures. Octanner.com highlights eight of the most common types of workplace cultures and what they look like in practice. For example, the adhocracy culture is one which focuses on innovation and isn’t afraid to take risks, whereas a hierarchy culture tends to be more risk averse and focuses on preventing mistakes and sticking to tradition. Instead of going into your search blindly, go into it with an idea of what type of culture you’re looking for. This can help the job search process flow smoothly and efficiently.

2. Do Research

Nowadays, almost anything can be found on the internet, including what a company’s culture is like. You can research things such as their value statement, whether the company has been trending upwards or downwards, reviews that customers make about their customer service, and employee statements highlighting specific aspects of the work environment. For example, most organizations have a page on Glassdoor, where you can find unfiltered reviews from employees about their experiences working at the company. You can also look up current employees on LinkedIn to see what they’ve been posting about, and how they interact with their peers on the platform. Your findings via the research you conduct on a specific company can give you a good overall idea of what the company’s culture and values are, and if they match up with your own.

3. Build Relationships

It’s a good idea to reach out to employees at a company you’re interested in, especially since they know the company and its culture better than anyone. By building these professional connections, you can gain an insider’s point of view regarding the specific aspects of the company’s workplace culture from a day-to-day standpoint, which you may not be able to find from a Google search. According to teamstage.io, corporate team building statistics also confirm that employee satisfaction increases by up to 50% when employees are surrounded by people they’re friendly with. Not only does building relationships help you determine the ins and outs of a certain company’s culture, but networking before you even land an interview can help you get a head start in building industry connections. If you do receive and accept a job offer, being familiar with some of your co-workers ahead of time can lead to an increase in satisfaction that you obtain at work.

4. Set Up an Interview

Interviews are a way for employers to get to know you, but they’re also a good way for you to learn more about the company, too. According to builtin.com, 91% of managers in the U.S. say a candidate’s alignment with their company’s culture is equal to or more important than their skills and experience. This is why it’s important to reflect on what type of culture you’re most interested in, and what values you prioritize going into the interview. The interview process can be intimidating, but it is important to remember that you aren’t just there to display your skills, but to potentially become an employee who represents the company well. Knowing some of the company’s values beforehand can ease this process, and through the interview you’ll be able to hear more about the environment from an employee’s firsthand experience. The interviewer will most likely explain what type of employee they are looking for, such as how well you work on a team, leadership skills, and creativity. This can be a good indication of whether or not that company is an ideal fit for you.

5. Ask Questions

Once you’re in an interview, be sure to utilize the time at the end to ask the hiring manager your own questions about the business. What are the company’s values? What is the management style like? How is employee success acknowledged? How is the training process handled, and are there continued professional development opportunities? Are there workplace traditions that the company celebrates? These are all good examples of questions that can be asked in interviews to gauge whether or not a company’s culture is the right fit for you. According to a survey from iecc.edu,  32% of hiring managers reported that not asking good questions is one of the most detrimental mistakes candidates can make during interviews. Come prepared with questions to make sure that you have a good idea of what the company’s workplace culture is like, and to show that you have a strong interest in making sure you will represent the company well.

Culture at LCS

At LCS, we strive to foster a welcoming and inclusive company culture every day. If you are looking for a job at a company that prioritizes the values of our employees and creates a positive environment for all, check out our open positions and apply at LCS today!