34 PROFESSIONAL WOMANS MULTICULTURAL MAGAZINE WWW.PROFESSIONALWOMANMAG.COM
Finding a Workplace to
Match YOUR Values
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 colleagues and the atmosphere kept you inspired? As most expe- rienced workers have learned, when it comes to a great job fit, the culture and values of a workplace may be at least as important 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 values 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 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 workers experience. There are multiple dimensions to a workplace cultures orientation. The exam- ples 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 organization's 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 others 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 prefer the option to continue to do so. For working parents or care-Previous Page