How to know if a company culture fits you?Chen Wan Lim
On average, Malaysians spend more than a third of their day in the office and more time is spent with their colleagues than with their own families. Therefore it is very important that the co-workers and superiors that you interact with are travelling on the same wavelength as you are to avoid unpleasant working environment to get the best company cultures. Some companies encourage independence and expect employees to work independently whereas some companies encourage teamwork and organize team building activities often depending on types of workplace culture they use and this is adjectives to describe work culture. Some people enjoy working in silos having little interaction with co-workers whereas some enjoy loud and noisy working spaces with free snacks and drinks. Depending on the type of person that you are, here’s how to know if a company culture fits you:
1. Visit their official website
The most convenient place to search out a company core values and mission statements is to visit their official website, assuming that they have one. From the vision and mission statements, you will be able to have a bird’s eye view on the general corporate culture within the company. You will be able to know if the company is more focused towards developing employees or simply just to grow its bottom line. If they have a detailed ‘Vacancies’ page, then you might be able to somewhat know the expectations and benefits the company offers either it is a good working environment characteristics.
2. Social media and forums
The next step is to delve deeper into your investigative journey by looking at the company’s Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram profiles. There, you will be able to see the picture of employees, clients, business activities and comments left by active employees, previous employees and clients. From these social media pages, you will also get a glimpse of your future co-workers. You will get an idea of the skill sets they have, the education level most employees have and also their past work experiences to know an importance of good office environment. A tiny word of caution is to not believe every comment posted on the wall – some might be left by a disgruntled employee or a dissatisfied client.
3. Simply ask during the interview
During a typical interview session, prospective applicants will be given a chance to ask questions during the interview. Just ask specifically what sort of value system the company prioritizes. Some companies might value customer satisfaction more than others while some companies are more focused on building employees and uplifting their overall wellbeing. In addition, you can ask questions such as what is a typical workday in the company like and at what time most employees leave the workplace.
4. What are the sticks and carrots?
Besides knowing your future colleagues, try asking what are the rewards for performance and accomplishments and also, what are the penalties should an employee fail to achieve an agreed upon target. It might be an uncomfortable topic to discuss, especially on non-performance but by knowing both the reward and punishment system, you will be able to gauge accurately if the company is a high performance company or a laid-back organization.
5. After office hours activities
If you have the chance to meet a potential superior you will be working under, you may also ask what sort of after office activities your future colleagues normally engage in. If the demographics of the office is made up of married people, chances are they will have to go back home on time to be with their family. But if most employees are young unmarried people, then there is a high chance of after office activities such as drinks and movies and this is also considered as examples of workplace culture.
These steps can be taken before you sign on the dotted lines accepting the offer to work with a new company. But the investigation and discovery shouldn’t stop once you enter the office. Get a tour guide in the office, preferably someone of the same corporate rank as you are to show you around and to teach you the ropes of the trade.