There are 168 hours in a week. If you average 8 hours of sleep a night, that equals 112 hours you are awake. If you work a full 40 hour work week then you are looking at least 35 percent of your week spent at your workplace. With so much time spent on our jobs, carefully consider where you choose to work.
Here are characteristics to watch for in a company before you join their team:
1. Employees stick around
One of the signs to watch out for is the turnover rate. A high turnover rate signals that people become unhappy and leave or the company hires and fires at will. A company that is constantly changing personnel may signal financial instability or a lack or organization within the structure of the company. Conversely, a company with a low turnover rate shows that management is investing in its employees and is treating them fairly.
The SAS Institute is a leader in business analytic software and was named the 2nd best place to work for by Fortune Magazine. The company boasts a turnover rate of only 3.6 percent, demonstrating it has a strong, positive culture that helps retain talent. It probably helps that the SAS campus comes with a state-of-the-art recreation facility.
Take-away Tip: Ask the recruiter about the turnover rate at the hiring company. Also ask why the position that you are interviewing for is open. If you learn that the company has a big turnover problem or that multiple people have tried and failed at the position you’re being considered for, run for the hills!
2. Working for a purpose
Another attribute of a solid employer is that employees clearly understand what they are working towards. Ask yourself: “Is the company making the world a better place?” Knowing you are working for a company that is positively impacting the world will motivate you and make the day-to-day grind easier.
The leader in identity theft protection, Lifelock, makes sure its employees understand that they are coming to work every day to protect customers from identity theft. Not only are employees provided with a clear direction but they are also making the world safer from identity thieves.
Take-away Tip: Before you accept the job, ask yourself if you respect the company and believe in it’s products or services. If you have doubts about the company’s ethics or about the quality of what they offer, run!
3. A Culture of Fun
Many companies get so caught up in the details of their work they forget about building an employee-friendly culture. A workplace where gossip runs rampant or there is low morale are tell-tale signs of poor company culture. Choose to be in a place where the next day was better than the last and where there is a sense of camaraderie and pride.
An article by Agency Post has examples of good company culture. Advertising agency Grupo Gallegos in Huntington Beach, California, houses a full-size basketball court and batting cage, as well as a room to store surfboards since the beach is only a few feet away. Saatchi LA, another ad agency in Southern California, offers a $200 credit for a gym membership and $2,000 tuition credit to those who wish to continue their learning.
Take-away Tip: Consider whether the company culture is a good fit for you and whether the company treats its employees well. If you have a strong suspicion that you will be miserable, don’t take the job. Instead, redouble your efforts to find a job where you can thrive.
The Bottom Line: When deciding on your next position, pick a place where employees stick around, where you can make a difference and where you can be part of a culture of fun. Doing so will help ensure that you will land a job that you will actually enjoy.