Recently, I spoke at a couple of job clubs to groups of people looking for employment. With over half of our current workforce (unemployed and employed) looking for work that fulfills them, traditional search methods leave much to be desired. Historically, we may have limited our search to skills match, the job description, geographic location and pay. But, with the rising demand for emotional fulfillment as additional criteria, particularly from the Boomers and Millennials, the world of business is beginning to wake up to the sobering fact that if they don’t provide a values exchange with their workforce, they will be facing a decisive talent gap in the upcoming years.
We know that a value match increases the odds of success in terms of both emotional fulfillment and continued growth within the organization. How often have you started work at a company only to discover that your values simply are not the same? This often leads to frustration, disrespect, general discord and the high probability that the job will not be sustainable. You know what your values are but how do you figure out the values of business entities or organizations that are of interest to you? MORE
First, it is important to realize that company values written on a website or on a company plaque may not actually be representative of the core values at play. As usual, it is going to take some research on your part to get a real sense of whether the values as written are (a) an integral part of the way the leaders manage the companies and (b) the guideposts that employees use when making decisions throughout their workdays. These principles and beliefs form the core of the culture and brand of the company.
There are many ways to find out answers to your questions. Some resources that may be helpful are:
Company career page
LinkedIn company profile
Facebook company page
Twitter company page
Amazon and Yelp
Google (or any browser) search
Job board postings
Job board company description/page
Whether you ask questions at an interview, or to others outside of the company, as you are investigating common values, some things you might consider are:
Are the employees “brand ambassadors” of the company, proud of the company’s products/services and excited to work there?
Does the company have mentoring, internship or training programs?
Is the employee base diversified and is there pay equality?
Are the leaders of the company role models creating confidence in their employees and other stakeholders?
Do the leaders provide a culture of innovation and a sense of ownership?
How are core values communicated and enforced throughout the company?
Are vendors paid in a timely manner? Are their relationships with the company in integrity?
Are investors interested in the sustainability of the business as well as the rate of return?
Is the company environmentally conscious reducing any negative footprint?
Does the company have a solid compliance program?
Does the company partner with non-profits in their local community in ways other than cash donations such as employee or customer engagement programs?
These type questions are just the beginning of your research. Part of a successful Value Match is voicing the things that mean the most to you. When people are shopping for a house, they don’t start by looking at the number of bedrooms and baths the house has. They instead identify whether they want to live in a metropolitan or urban area, study the school district, figure out what their boundaries are in terms of travel and commute time and evaluate the general makeup of the neighborhood. They look at this more substantive criteria in terms of the things that they value to ensure a quality life first. This is not unlike the search you should conduct for work that gives you emotional dollars as well as greenbacks. Ultimately, each piece to a jigsaw puzzle is unique but when fit together, they contribute to the completed masterpiece.
Copyright © 2017 Linda Lattimore
Social Responsibility Toolkit