Three years ago, I took a career test to find out what type of career would best suit me. A few weeks later I got the results of my test. I won’t go into the details of my result, but what really stood out for me was the concluding statement.
I was advised that irrespective of the career path I chose, I should make sure that whatever organization I worked with should be one whose culture mirrors my values. The point was that working for an organization whose culture runs counter to the fabric of your being will spell disaster for you in the long run.
So how do you tell the culture of an organization before you accept the formal invitation? That is the point of this post.
I drew the inspiration for this article from one of the interviews I attended earlier this year. It may not be the best tool, but it’s better than nothing. So, join me on the ride as I take you through how to identify organizational culture. Bon Voyage!
1. The front desk
It all starts at the front desk. Usually, the front desk will tell you all you need to know about how a company; how it cares for its employees, its recruitment policies and its values. How you’re treated at the front desk says a lot about the organization. So does the dressing of the front desk employee. But then, you should take whatever you see here with a pinch of salt, some employees are just ill-mannered.
2. The recruitment process
A sloppy, ill-timed recruitment process filled with uninspiring and cliché interviews should immediately tell you the Human Resource (HR) state of the organization. When you’re being asked to define Business Administration or told to solve some theoretical tasks with no practical relevance to the job you’re applying for, you should immediately begin to sense the state of mind of your superiors-to-be. And since HR determines culture, to a large extent, you can begin to fairly accurately predict the culture of the organization.
3. The dressing of the employees
Are the employees dressed like they are living in the past century? Or are they dressed like they are the cast of Star Wars? You will do well to take note of this as it can provide insight into the mindset of the people working there. If, for example, they are dressed as though they were one century behind, then you may want to reevaluate your opinion of the organization. Except of course, it’s your kind of thing.
4. The interaction between employees
Is the manager telling his subordinates to go and buy food, clean shoes or do other duties fit for a porter? That says something. You want to decide if it’s the kind of job description you’d like.
5. Employee behavior
Are the employees cold towards you? Are they browsing the newspaper for job vacancies? Are they walking around timid, like they are being watched? If you answer yes to all of these questions, you may want to ask yourself if what you’re you are looking for is an adventure in the secret service.
That’s it. My tips for helping you determine the culture of the organization you’re looking to work with. Hopefully, they help you make the right decision. Good luck!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime | Michael Zhang