24 www.blackeoejournal.com Black EOE Journal
ave you ever had a job where you liked the work itself, but the workplace or manager made your life miserable? Or maybe a job where the work was boring but your col- leagues and the atmosphere kept you inspired? As most experienced workers have learned, when it comes to a great job fit, the culture and values of a workplace may be at least as impor- tant as the job itself. But what exactly is a workplace culture? And, more importantly, for your job search, how can you find out what an employer's val- ues are before you either a) target your job search to a specific employer or b) accept an offer?
What is a "workplace culture?"
Workplace culture is a broad concept that includes shared beliefs and values that relate to organizational structure, communication, employee relationships and more. Workplace culture, along with mission, vision, goals and
Finding a Workplace to Match Your Values
strategies, shapes employee behavior and perceptions. The culture also relates to how employees are selected, trained, managed and how they may advance in the organization. In other words, the culture affects just about all aspects of a worker's experience. There are multiple dimensions to a work- place culture's orientation. The examples below are not opposites, but more like different points on a continuum to illustrate differences: Individual achievement vs. teamwork Innovation and risk-taking vs. stability and security Outcome orientation vs. customer focus Process oriented vs. product/results oriented Competitive/aggressive vs. supportive/ tolerant Driven by research and development, customer orientation, technology, information or other function Hierarchical, with rigid authority channels vs. less structured, more fluid communication and authority Fast paced vs. quality and precision An organizations values are often very prominently reflected in a workplace culture. Most of us have an attraction to certain values, some throughout our working lives, and oth- ers more situationally, as our personal needs change. Some workplace values include: Family-friendly Respect Trust Employee engagement Community Fairness Diversity Ethical Flexibility is currently a strongly trending work value - whether around work schedule or work location. Many workers have grown used to working from home and strongly pre- fer the option to continue to do so. For working parents or caregivers, a flexible start and end time can accommodate their familys needs.Previous Page