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New Survey: Company Mission & Culture Matter More Than Salary

While high salaries and unique perks may have once been the keys to attracting top talent, a new survey from Glassdoor shows that a company’s mission and culture matter most to job seekers.

Glassdoor’s Mission & Culture Survey 2019 found that over 77% of adults across four countries (the United States, UK, France, Germany) would consider a company’s culture before applying for a job there, and 79% would consider a company’s mission and purpose before applying. Furthermore, over half of the 5000 respondents said that company culture is more important than salary when it comes to job satisfaction.

“Across the countries we surveyed, it’s clear that job seekers are seeking more meaningful workplace experiences,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, Glassdoor President and COO. “Job seekers want to be paid fairly but they too want to work for a company whose values aline with their own and whose mission they can fully get behind.”

Interestingly enough, culture matters even more to millennials and younger adults. Our survey found that in the U.S. and UK, millennials are more likely to prioritise culture above salary. Plus, 73% of all adults surveyed would not apply to a company unless its values alined with their own personal values.

This begs the question, “How do I as a job seeker or employe gauge company culture and mission? How can I figure out whether a company’s mission is true or just lip-service?”

Luckily, Glassdoor is here to help!

How to Evaluate Company Culture in an Interview

If you want to know what it’s like to work for a company, you can’t exactly waltz up to a recruiter and ask “What’s your company culture like?” However, there are a number of questions you can ask during an interview that, while seeming fairly straightforward on the surface, can help uncover deeper intel about the inner workings of a company. They include:

1. How long have you been with the company?

2. What was the last big achievement that was celebrated?

3. What activities do you offer employees?

4. What was the department’s biggest challenge last year and what did you learn from it?

5. How do you measure success and over what time frame? How are those metrics determined?

How to Gauge Culture at Your Current Company

If you’re already employed and want to take the temperature of the culture, here are five areas employees should evaluate to see if a company’s culture is the right fit for them.

1. Purpose

Purpose is the soul of a company’s culture. It’s important to make sure your company’s purpose alines with your own goals. After starting your new job, take note of the organisation’s values. Have they made their cause clear? Are business goals set with a greater mission in mind? What sort of success stories are told that convey the company’s overarching message or noble cause?

2. Opportunity

Maybe opportunity is what attracted you to this position. But opportunity can mean different things to different people, and it’s important to understand what it means to you and your organisation. Take note of your new co-workers. Do they feel challenged? Can they freely express their opinions? These things may not seem important compared to factors like salary and benefits, but frequent boredom or stifled creativity can indicate lack of opportunity within an organisation.

3. Success

Understanding the company’s definition of success can reveal key insights into its culture. If success is mainly results-driven but a competitive environment isn’t your cup of tea, you may need to reassess your decision to join the team. Are work hours unreasonable? Is there a success-at-all-costs mentality? Are you encouraged to assimilate rather than innovate? Understanding the sacrifices you’re willing to make for your job allows you to identify if and when your company’s culture crosses your tolerance threshold.

4. Appreciation

Employees want to feel that their efforts are recognised, whether that be through a promotion or a simple exchange between team members. New employees can identify the level of appreciation their co-workers’ efforts receive by noticing how their team leaders behave. If leaders encourage their employees’ hard work and promote others to express appreciation to their team members, it’s likely that recognition is important to that company’s culture.

5. Well-Being

As an employee, you should understand the importance the organisation places on things like work-life balance, establishing healthy relationships between co-workers, flexibility with deadlines and objectives and how your work impacts the bottom line. All of these things will directly affect your well-being in the workplace and should be carefully considered after joining an organisation.

What Values Matter Most

Using a new tool developed by MIT in partnership with Glassdoor, job seekers can customise cultural evaluations by pulling a set of companies and comparing them along any of these Big Nine values:

Agility: Agile companies are nimble, flexible and quick to seize an opportunity. Internet and management consulting companies are leading industries when it comes to this value. Uber is a top-notch practitioner of this corporate value.

Collaboration: When companies exercise this value, their employees are cohesive and productive, within their group and across teams. Fast food and retail apparel are some industries that have this down to a science; HP is a standout.

Customer: The customers’ needs are central, for businesses that radiate this value. The company prides itself on listening to customers and creating value for them. Pharma & bio tech and medical devices are leading industries, while Chick Fil A is a distinguished player.

Diversity: Bring yourself, because there’s a place for everyone in these inclusive cultures. Diversified financial services and consumer goods are some top industries when it comes to cultivating diverse cultures, and TD Bank is a leader.

Execution: Companies implement this value by fostering behaviours like taking personal accountability for results, delivering on commitments, prioritising the activities that matter most, and adhering to process discipline. Toyota is a high performer when it comes to execution.

Innovation: Companies that value and fuel creativity and experimentation and are eager to implement new ideas exhibit this value. Communications equipment and enterprise software are lead industries when it comes to innovation, and SpaceX is a standout.

Integrity: Staff members across the board, from entry-level professionals to company leaders, maintain a code of honesty and ethics that consistently inform their actions. Industrial conglomerates and electrical equipment companies are leading industries when it comes to integrity, and Charles Schwab is top notch.

Performance: The company recognises performance and rewards results through compensation, recognition and promotion, and it handles underperforming employees tactfully and strategically. The insurance and semiconductor industries stand out when it comes to performance, and Goldman Sachs is a leader.

Respect: Employees, managers and leaders exercise consideration and courtesy for each other. They treat one another with dignity, and they take one another’s perspectives seriously. Consumer goods and enterprise software are high performers when it comes to this value and SAP is a standout.

The research makes it clear that today’s job seekers no longer solely prioritise pay and benefits. Rather, people are looking to work for a company whose values aline with their own and whose mission they can support. Check out a company’s reviews, ratings and insights on Glassdoor to find the job that fits your life!

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