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The culture of an organization is more about the leadership than about the industry

The culture of an organization is more about the leadership than about the industry

How does an employee prevent leaving one toxic work environment only to take a position inside another toxic culture?  There was an interesting column recently in J.T. & Dale’s Talk Jobs column that addressed this very issue.  The question was asked how to avoid taking a job in a toxic work environment.

The wise words of wisdom from the authors was this: “Rather than look for a different industry, your best hope is to find an organization whose culture is aligned with yours.”

They further stated, “the best way to do that is to interview an employer as much as he or she interviews you.”

There are good leaders out there who want to create rewarding work environments and that don’t send employees home at night confused, deflated, depressed and anxious.  Just as good employers perform their due diligence on new employees, those in the job market need to decide what is important to them.  What are your work environment non-negotiables?  Develop some questions around those requirements to ask your potential boss.

Below are a few questions to consider asking at your next interview?

  • Are employees allowed to take risks and develop innovative solutions on the job? If yes, what is a recent example of employee-led risk taking or innovation?
  • What happens to a good employee who makes an honest mistake?
  • When there are openings in the company does the leadership look to fill those spots from the inside first?  Who are some people who have recently been promoted?
  • Is this company’s leadership flexible with the work/life demands of employees?  What are some examples of current flexible work arrangements?
  • Do company leaders provide telecommuting options to get work done?
  • Does this company prevent workplace bullying?
Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees' desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

1 Comment

  1. Guy Farmer 14 years ago

    Excellent points Kevin. I often find that if leaders get it about being kind to their employees they will reap the rewards. Leaders who give their employees opportunities to use their talents and abilities and encourage them to grow frequently find that the company benefits from a more motivated and productive workplace environment. The better we treat our employees the better they treat us.

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