What to Look for in a Company? 13 Key Values in Your Prospective Employer

    what to look for company

    A good company is much like a boon for any working individual. It is not only a source of income but also a platform for personal and professional growth. Among the various factors that contribute to job satisfaction, company culture often stands out as a key determinant, sometimes even surpassing salary. It is no secret that a toxic work environment can lead to low employee retention.

    According to an empirical study published in the Academy of Management Journal, organizational culture significantly influences companies’ productivity and plays a critical role in employee retention. Likewise, a report on “The Impact of Compensation, Training & Development, and Organizational Culture on Job Satisfaction and employee Retention” reveals that organizational culture plays a vital role in determining the success of an organization.

    As an employee stepping into a new office—be it a small start-up or a multinational corporation—one of the first things that might cross your mind is the nature of the management. What can they offer? Do they foster a healthy and strong company culture that isn’t toxic? Identifying these elements can be challenging, but there are certain signs to look for.

    13 Key Things and Values to Look for in a Company

    Here are 13 essential things and values to consider when deciding on the right company for your professional journey.

    Mission and Vision

    A clear mission and vision give employees a sense of purpose, fostering a unified approach towards achieving company goals. Without them, a company can become rudderless, leading to confusion, misalignment of efforts, inefficiency, and potentially poor business performance. This lack of clarity can also affect the company’s external image and relationships with stakeholders.

    Strong Leadership

    Strong leadership drives a company’s strategic direction, fosters a positive work environment, and motivates employees. In its absence, there could be a lack of focus and guidance, resulting in low morale, poor team coordination, high turnover rates, and ultimately, lower productivity. This could also lead to a lack of innovation, as strong leaders often inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.

    Employee Growth and Development

    Prioritizing employee growth and development helps retain top talent, encourages a culture of continuous learning, and ensures the workforce stays skilled and adaptable. If overlooked, employees might feel overlooked and unvalued, which can lead to lower job satisfaction, higher turnover, and a workforce ill-equipped to respond to industry changes.

    Work-Life Balance

    Promoting a healthy work-life balance boosts employee morale, productivity, and job satisfaction. It also contributes to employee health and reduces burnout. If neglected, it can lead to chronic stress, health issues, decreased productivity, and higher turnover. Over time, this can also lead to increased healthcare costs for the company and a damaged reputation as an employer.

    Diversity and Inclusion

    Embracing diversity and inclusion fosters a rich, innovative, and dynamic work environment. If not prioritized, the company may miss out on diverse insights, face discrimination lawsuits, and create a hostile work environment. This can also hinder the company’s ability to attract diverse talent and negatively impact the company’s reputation and bottom line.

    Open Communication

    Open communication builds trust, enhances collaboration, and fosters a culture of transparency. Without it, misunderstandings can arise, leading to mistrust, reduced team cohesion, and lower employee engagement. This could also result in employees feeling disconnected from the company’s goals, which can hinder performance and productivity.

    Recognition and Reward

    Recognizing and rewarding employees’ efforts boosts morale, enhances job satisfaction, and improves retention. If these are missing, employees may feel unappreciated and demotivated, leading to lower productivity, decreased job satisfaction, and higher turnover rates.

    Community Involvement

    Active community involvement strengthens a company’s reputation, promotes corporate social responsibility, and can even open up networking opportunities. A lack of community involvement can portray the company as indifferent towards societal issues, potentially damaging its reputation, customer loyalty, and employee morale.

    Healthy Team Dynamics

    Healthy team dynamics promote productivity, innovation, and job satisfaction. Poor team dynamics can lead to conflicts, decreased productivity, and a toxic work environment, which can all adversely affect the company’s overall performance and profitability.

    Stability and Job Security

    Providing stability and job security enhances employee loyalty and commitment. Without these, employees may feel insecure, leading to anxiety, decreased motivation, lower productivity, and increased turnover rates. This could also harm the company’s reputation as a stable employer.

    Ethical Practices

    Upholding ethical practices demonstrates a company’s commitment to integrity, honesty, and fairness. A lack of these can damage a company’s reputation, lead to legal troubles, and create an uncomfortable or unsafe environment for employees. This can significantly impact employee morale and customer trust.

    Employee Wellness Programs

    Wellness programs demonstrate a company’s commitment to its employees’ health and well-being. Without such initiatives, companies may see higher rates of sick leave, decreased productivity, and lower job satisfaction, which can all impact the overall health and success of the organization.


    Providing opportunities for advancement and professional growth is a critical aspect of a company’s culture. This could range from offering challenging projects, leadership roles, or the chance to learn new skills or technologies. A company that values opportunity promotes a culture of continuous learning and growth, which can lead to higher job satisfaction, employee engagement, and retention.

    The Shared Responsibility in Shaping Company Values

    In conclusion, the values of a company are not just determined by the leadership alone but are a shared responsibility between both the employer and the employees. Employers set the tone by establishing clear values and demonstrating them through their actions and decisions. They are responsible for creating an environment that fosters these values, providing the necessary resources and support, and rewarding behaviors that align with these values.

    On the other hand, employees play a crucial role in living out these values on a day-to-day basis. They can also contribute to shaping these values through their feedback and ideas. By actively participating in company initiatives, embracing the company’s values, and holding each other accountable, employees can help cultivate a strong and healthy company culture.

    It’s this symbiotic relationship that ensures the company’s values are not just words on a wall but are deeply embedded into the DNA of the company. It’s when these values are lived out consistently that they can truly drive a company’s success, create a positive work environment, and make a meaningful difference to all stakeholders involved. This collaborative effort in shaping and upholding company values is what ultimately creates a thriving, sustainable, and successful organization.