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After going through the interviewing process, getting your first job offer can feel like a relief. However, the vetting process should not stop there. During your first few weeks as a new hire, you should also determine if the company is a good fit for you. Your workplace’s culture will have a profound impact on everything from your mental health to your career progression. As you are learning the ropes, also look out for these signs of a healthy workplace culture.
Strong Mission and Vision
Most companies have a mission and vision statement. However, the company must demonstrate these values day in and day out in order for these statements to have any power.
Strong mission and vision statements usually translate into clear objectives and goals in the workplace. This enables companies to recruit employees whose values align with the mission.
It also prevents problems like mission drift. When an organization strays from its foundational goals, it can lead to chaotic work environments and employee dissatisfaction.
When you start your role, you should have a clear understanding of how your work brings your company closer to its goals. Those goals should also match your personal and professional values.
Employee retention is one of the most visible indicators of a healthy workplace culture. The median tenure for employees across industries is just over four years. Companies that can hold on to employees long-term generally create a culture that promotes engagement and growth.
This means that overall, employees feel respected and valued. Low employee turnover can also signal that employees are compensated fairly. In recent years, flexible scheduling and the ability to work remotely have become sticking points for keeping talent. If your new company implements any of these benefits, it shows that they are considerate of employee needs.
You can learn more about your company’s retention rate by talking to your colleagues. You should also ask about growth opportunities within the company, and if there are opportunities for mentoring or professional development.
Structured New Hire Training
The onboarding process is crucial for integrating new employees into the workplace. Companies with positive company cultures take this process seriously. For example, managers and HR professionals should follow the latest employee onboarding tips and best practices to set up new hires for success.
Effective onboarding should include a combination of technical training and social elements. Many companies also invest in online modules and onboarding software to streamline and facilitate the process.
As you go through the process, you should feel confident in your ability to perform your role. At the same time, you should also feel comfortable asking for help and guidance. The company should also have realistic expectations. On average, candidates need up to a year to fully thrive in a new position.
Healthy workplaces recognize that their employees are assets, not liabilities. Meaningful recognition programs are one-way companies can demonstrate how much they value their workers.
Employees are most receptive to recognition programs that openly celebrate an employee’s achievement and deliver relevant awards. These programs should also be transparent so that all employees have the opportunity to achieve recognition.
Many companies announce recognition recipients on their social media pages. You can gain insight into a company’s employee recognition programs by checking their accounts.
Open Lines of Communication
Bi-directional communication is key to maintaining a healthy workplace culture. In many companies, communication is top-down. There are few opportunities for lower-level employees to give their input or concerns. This can lead to a lack of autonomy and eventually, worker disengagement.
Top-down communication is also associated with stagnation. Since all decisions are made by a small group of people at the top, ideas can lack innovation and diversity.
Companies with forward-thinking cultures recognize the wealth of talent and knowledge their employees possess. As a result, they offer two-way communication channels that connect employees at all levels. They also encourage a culture of curiosity and embrace failure. This gives employees permission to share their opinions and feel safe trying out untested ideas.
Two-way communication is often described as an open door policy. This means that you should feel comfortable approaching your supervisor or direct report with any questions or concerns you have without the fear of retaliation. Many companies also recognize the importance of privacy and will provide communication channels where employees can share their opinions anonymously.
Collaboration and Partnerships Amongst Staff
Office politics and over competition between departments can create a toxic work environment. Companies can cultivate a more open culture by removing silos and encouraging collaborations between teams.
Companies can achieve this by hosting mixers and events that allow workers from different departments to meet and form relationships. Many companies also adopt company-wide communication tools, such as Slack, where all team members can work on projects.