We often underestimate the importance of our values in comparison to our employers, as most of us don’t plan on staying at a company for long. However, there’s evidence that employee satisfaction rises when our employer's values align with our own, leading to a reduced turnover.
How to Find a Company That Aligns With Your ValuesAlthough finding an employer-employee value alignment isn’t easy, the benefits can be extraordinary.
Here’s how to find a company that supports your core values and strengths.
1.Map Out Your Own Values and Number Them Based on NeedYou likely have a general idea of what you want from your employer, but you can organize your thoughts better if you write them down. Ask yourself if you want an employer who supports gender equality, diversity, transparency, environmentalism, philanthropy, and their community.
Next, place your most preferred values at the top and “nice-to-haves” at the bottom. If you need an employer who supports all of your values, then don’t settle for any company that falls short. Use related keywords, like honesty for transparency, when reading job postings and websites.
2. Read Reviews from Past and Current Employees With Similar ValuesWebsites like Glassdoor and JobSage reviewemployers based on their likability. JobSage, in particular, looks at a company's inclusion, growth, purpose, feedback, flexibility, and salary metrics. If you can’t contact current or past employees, these websites can fill in the blanks.
However, if you can speak to them on the phone or through social media, you’ll gain further insight into the company. Be sure to ask them about your employer's managerial style, whether the company’s actual culture matches the job description, and if they enjoyed working their jobs.
3. Check the Local News and A Company Rating List for CluesIf you’re applying with a large company, there’s a chance that they’ve been mentioned in the news. Look up the company’s name, followed by the word “scandal,” to see if something bad happened. Try to find stories about their change in leadership, policies, or employees.
Then, check a company rating list, like Forbes’s The World’s Best Employers, Chain’s Best Places to Work in NYC, or Science Magazine’s Top Employers. If you still can’t find anything negative or the scandal happened a long time ago, chances are they’re a decent company.
4. Review the Company Websites and Their Social Media ProfilesCompanies can say anything they want on their own website. However, it’s a good sign when a company is upfront about its values because it shows they know what they care about. Plus, the company’s website and social media profiles can serve as a base for your research.
If you find that the company contradicts its own values, there’s still hope. Your coworkers likely support your values, and there’s a possibility that the company is trying to work towards what you value as a goal. It’s up to you if you want to take a chance on the employer at that point.
5. Interview the Interviewer (and Ask Targeted Interview Questions)Candidates often forget that they can interview the interviewer because they’re nervous. But if you’re dead set on finding an employer that shares your values, you need to ask targeted questions. They’ll help you better understand the company, its culture, and its conviction.
Don’t be afraid to ask if the team supports equal pay between men and women, if they prioritize diversity, and whether they’re trying to reduce their environmental footprint. Your interviewer's answers to these questions will determine if the business’s values align with your own.