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Is Culture Important When Looking for Jobs?

When job hunting, there are many things to consider about potential positions. What is the work itself like? Do you have the required education and skills? How much does the job pay? What benefits are offered? These are all important questions, but there is one more that you might not have considered: What is the company culture? You’ll spend many of your waking hours at work, so it’s important to find the right fit. Here are five things to look at when considering company culture.

Should Culture Be Considered When Looking for a New Job?

Core Values

Look for a company that has clearly defined core values that are regularly communicated to their workers. Like Disney’s Four Keys to Guest Service (Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency), these should be easy to understand and remember, and should be evenly applied across the organization.

Accountability

Everyone is responsible for their own actions, and nothing sinks employee morale faster than seeing that some people are above the rules. Whether it’s managers walking the floor without proper safety gear or workers who get away with cutting corners, failing to hold everyone accountable is a red flag for company culture.

Flexibility

Accountability is not the same thing as a draconian set of rules with no room for individual considerations. A strong work culture is flexible. Mistakes are considered stepping stones to success. Managers and employees alike are able to apply common sense and discretion when facing challenges. Where feasible, flexible work options are available, such as compressed shifts or remote attendance.

Work-Life Balance

Have you ever worked somewhere that felt like you were on call 24/7? Where you were expected to answer emails or text messages on your day off or even in the middle of the night? If so, you probably remember how awful it felt never to have any time that was truly your own. A strong company culture prioritizes work-life balance and encourages employees to disconnect at the end of their shift. If being “on call” is required, these shifts are fairly distributed and no one person has to be on call too often.

Employee Engagement

Look for a workplace where current employees are happy, friendly, and genuinely enjoying themselves. Keeping employees engaged requires some hard work on the part of management, so an organization that achieves it likely has a strong company culture.

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