No more red flags — manifest a positive 2022 by identifying these green flags that prove a possible future workplace culture is not toxic.
Looking for new jobs is difficult enough. Landing one with a great work culture that isn’t toxic? Near impossible. Most jobs only reveal their toxicity when you’re neck-deep in the role with multiple projects coming in your direction and no way out. Workplace toxicity could also appear only when a problematic new colleague joins.
When you’ve worked enough jobs, you’ll come to realise that no workplace is perfect. There will always be flaws — the only difference is to what degree. Your goal is to find a workplace culture that aligns with your values and has the least possible red flags.
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Below, we offer some tips on how you can identify green flags that prove a workplace culture is non-toxic, even from the job listing stage.
The job listing is clear and reasonable with transparent requirements
A job listing that indicates its responsibilities clearly with reasonable qualifications shows that the company knows what it wants in an employee. The role is explained well without any ambiguity, and the offered salary is stated clearly and at a market-appropriate rate. This shows that they know what they want in a candidate. You also won’t waste time applying only to find out that the salary range isn’t what you’re after.
The interview process is organised and includes your direct superior
We’re so used to being confused during the interview process, but it’s a major green flag when the interview process is organised. It’s also a good indication when clear steps have been laid out to show you how you’ll be proceeding to the next stage of the interview. This shows that the company has a system and everyone communicates well — no one is left confused. If the interview includes your direct superior instead of someone higher up in the management, it’s also a green flag. It shows that the company values the opinions of non-senior staff. Your direct superior is the one you’ll be working closely with, and it’s a great opportunity for the both of you to meet from the start.
The interviewer is honest
When you’re at an interview, it’s good practice to ask the interviewer some challenging questions. After all, the interview is a two-way process. It’s not just you who’s getting interviewed for the job — you’re also interviewing them to find out if the job is suited to you.
One of the great ways to identify green flags during the interview process itself is to ask the interviewer what challenges the company faces. Get into detail about whether internal or external, and if there is a plan to remediate them. It’s a chance to see how the interviewer reacts and whether or not they’re honest about their shortcomings. You’ll also find out if they see a need for change. If the interviewer is honest, it’s a green flag that they’re being transparent about their shortcomings.
Leadership is accessible
Once you’ve got the job, it’s time to use your probationary period to your advantage. Take these few months to really scope out your workplace—observe the relationship between your peers and superiors. Are they comfortable with approaching their superiors for work advise? Do your superiors welcome inquisitions warmly? If they do, it’s a green flag and you’ll know that you can always readily go to your superior if you have questions.
There are clear goals to achieve for promotions
A major green flag to look out for is whether a company has set out clear goals that its employees should achieve to go up in ranks. It shows that there is a clear-cut, transparent process in place. Employees then know what they need to achieve in order to receive a promotion. No employee will be left in the dark wondering if favouritism was in play, or why they haven’t been promoted.
The management trust its employees
We’re in an age where remote or hybrid working is becoming the norm. Mutual trust is needed between the management and employee to ensure that the latter continues working during the allotted working hours. Some companies have set systems in place, but as long as those systems are not invasive in nature, you can consider it a green flag that the management trust in its employees. This means no invasive staff tracking software installed on computers or having your Microsoft Teams status constantly on green. Conversely, the employee should also reciprocate on this trust system by being reachable during working hours.
Ultimately, no company is perfect. There will always be shortcomings and challenges to face. The only difference is finding out which shortcomings you’re willing to accept and which ones you’re not. These green flags should serve as a guide for you to look at the bigger picture of what a non-toxic workplace culture should be. May your 2022 job search be fruitful.