Quick ways of gauging company culture

If you are looking to change organisations, it is extremely important that you assess the culture of the company that you plan to move into. While the new job may get you a great salary, if your existence and ethics are going to be questioned every single day, that you carry your frustrations back home, and in turn impact your time with the family – then the change is just not worth it.

The first step is to review all social media to understand the views that people have about the company – google, glassdoor, facebook, LinkedIn etc. While glassdoor is quite contentious as only the ones that are upset would normally post their views,(unless like my way of working where we had mandated every exiting employee to write on glassdoor), it is a good platform to look for general trends and pattern of behaviour. E.g. if there are regular comments on how inaccessible the senior management is, or that the senior management does not know how to resolve issues, then the writing is clearly on the wall. The other method that I would use is to look for a connection on LinkedIn, and then ask direct questions that are important to me from a culture or environment perspective.

You can also assess the behaviours of office staff and others to get a better understanding of the company and its culture. So if you had a telecom at 1pm, did it start at 1pm, was the telecom participative or one way? Were you asked intelligent questions or was the first question “tell me something about yourself”? If you visited the office was the security/reception staff warm or curt? Did they make you feel comfortable? When you looked around did you feel the warmth or everyone seemed to be busy in their own world(chasing targets). How about cleanliness – were articles stacked properly, roof area and corners cob web free, paintings free of a dust cover etc. Organisations that are dynamic and employee centric are often on their days, ensuring that the image they portray is one of compassion, warmth, urgency, success and team work. If you really see a sloppy workplace where people don’t value time or the human element in you, you should know better than to join that place.

Lastly- culture, growth, learning, environment is more important than money. If you have great people to work with, learn and share, then that is worth every single extra rupee that you may earn, as at the end of the day, you will go home gratified and satisfied – looking forward to another day of learning and making a difference to the world. So don’t let the new house or the new car tempt you in taking a foolhardy decision, and always do your homework before you commit.

hallway in blue and orange wall paint
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