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Culture matters. Why? Because one in four American workers wake up dreading their job.  Workplace toxicity contributes to these feelings, making the job an uncomfortable, frustrating experience. It’s so bad that one in five U.S. workers say they’ve searched for a new job because the culture at their old job was so bad. If you’re thinking about leaving your job due to cultural issues, how can you make sure you’re not entering a culture that is just as bad? We have tips for how to research company culture before you take the job.

Find Out a Company’s Culture Before You Take the Job

Start with researching everything you can about the company. What are their mission and values? (You’ll learn something important if they don’t seem to have any.) Do those values jive with what’s important to you? What is their emphasis on work/life balance? Do they use words like “collaboration” or “growth” in their job descriptions or on their website? Look on job sites like Glassdoor to see if they have any employee reviews. Take these with a grain of salt, though, and look for trends that seem to crop up repeatedly.

If you’re on LinkedIn, look to see if you have any connections who work at that company. You can even connect with current employees and see if they would be willing to talk with you about the company culture. Always keep it professional—word could get out to the hiring manager that you are having conversations with current employees.

We also recommend checking for any news on the company. Are they in the news for good or bad reasons? Do you see significant leadership changes? What kind of PR is out there on the company? This research will also give you lots of confidence during the interview process.

Speaking of interviewing, here are some good questions to ask to help you truly understand organizational culture:

  • What does it look like to be successful here?
  • Can you describe your culture?
  • Tell me about an employee who grew during their employment with your company?
  • What was the biggest challenge this team faced, and how did they handle it?
  • How does the organization create a culture when employees are remote?

The reality is that there is a company culture, but there are also team dynamics. Both can play a big part in whether the job is a good fit for you. During your interviews, closely observe the hidden dynamics between leadership and lower-level staff. It might even be a good idea to see if you can shadow someone on the team during a typical day.

Once you’ve gathered all the data you can on the company culture, it’s time to do some soul-searching. What motivates you? Is there something within your current culture that turns you off? What elements of a corporate culture feel most important?

Once you’ve covered all these areas, call IES. We work as a bridge between a company and a candidate to ensure a good fit for both. We can help you find a better culture. Contact us today.

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