How to research Company Culture

03/07/2023

company cultureMore job seekers are considering a company's culture before applying for a job and for some, company culture may be more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction. This article explores company culture and values and ways to research it when job searching.

What is company culture?

Company culture refers to the shared values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours, and practices that define a company which influences the behaviour of its employees. It covers everything from employee interactions, approaches to work and decision making, through to company goals.

Company culture is heavily influenced by a number of key factors including leadership style, organisational structure, communication practices, work environment, and company history. A positive company culture can help attract and retain top talent, improve employee engagement and increase job satisfaction. On the other hand, a negative company culture can lead to high turnover, low productivity and poor morale.

Understand your values

The company you work for should share the same values you hold, so it is important to understand yours to see if they match. Identifying your values will help you to rule out the things you really do not want, need, or believe are important in your next career move. Knowing your values can help answer the question, “What do I want from my next career move?” For example, if you value continuous learning and the company pride themselves for investing in employees training and development, you share a similar value. If making a difference is a value important to you, you may want to look at a company or industry where their service makes a difference to peoples’ lives.

Conduct Research

If you have specific companies in mind, look at their company website as this is where they will share their values. If you are job searching online, look at the advertisements and the descriptions of the role. Look at the language that they use, is it formal and corporate or humorous and down to earth? The way the company describes themselves and their environment is a good indicator of their company culture.

You can get a really good feel for a company’s personality by looking at their social media pages too. Scroll through their timeline to see the posts they have shared and the comments they receive. How do they react to important social issues or employee or client recognition they share? Their responses can tell you a lot about their personality and how they support values you find important.

Explore Company Reviews

You can tell a lot about a company by how their current and former employees talk about them. Read reviews from employees on sites such as Glassdoor.com. You can discover what an employer really likes about that company which may support your decision making. Search reviews and ratings, and filter companies based on the qualities that matter most to your job search, such as ‘Work & Life Balance’, ‘Diversity and Inclusion’ and ‘Compensation and Benefits’. Bear in mind some of these reviews can be biased or negative if the employee has had a bad experience. Having a look at employee LinkedIn profiles is another opportunity to learn more about the people you may be working alongside. Is there a diverse mix of employees working there? How long have they been employed? Have they been promoted or demonstrated career progression? These may be values important to you that you can quickly determine through a bit of research. 

Ask about company culture

Company culture can be really hard to research online, and it may not be something you can completely uncover until you speak to someone. Do you know anyone in your network who has worked for this company? If so, talk to them. Hopefully they will be able to share further insights into the company culture to help you to determine if it’s the right company for you.

If you are shortlisted for interview, this is the perfect opportunity to explore this area further. Ask questions such as "How would you describe the culture of the company’’ or ask them a question around your values, such as ‘‘What kind of training or onboarding program does the company offer for new employees?’’ or ‘’How, as a company, do you remain inclusive?"  You can also find out about the culture in your potential team by asking your prospective manager how they work and support their team members - ’’Can you describe your leadership style?’’

Take the time to think about the culture that's important to you and find the company that shares your values when job searching for success.

 

Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please email info@renovo.co.uk

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