What corporate culture lights you up?

I recently stumbled across the website of business coach Marie Forleo, and I’ve been hooked on her vlog and enewsletter ever since.  Each week she answers a reader question in the form of a video post, providing coaching tips that can be applied to other complimentary situations.

Two weeks ago she addressed a consultant who was experiencing serious burnout working with clients that doubled as energy vampires.

Forleo advised the reader to develop a prospective client checklist of traits and conditions that must be present for a client to have the good fortune to work with that consultant.  These items will ensure the consultant only works with clients that serve as energizers rather than drainers.

Surely that same approach can be used to focus a job hunt.  Regardless of the job description, the values and culture of an employer impact, for better or worse, the types of people drawn to a company.

That video got me thinking about the cultural preferences I need to focus on as my own job hunt continues. In no particular order, musts in my next work place.

  1. People get creative to find the best workable solution.  There are plenty of opportunities to think in the abstract and generate unusual solutions to problems.
  2. No resting on your laurels. The company is always ready to try new tools and processes to ensure the status quo is the best approach, not just an engrained habit.
  3. Workers are empowered to get the job done. The company trusts that its HR methodology brings in the best people to meet the strategic objectives.  Thus, micromanaging and onerous levels of approval aren’t necessary.
  4. You’re only as good as your word, so integrity is a must.  Misrepresentations or fabrications to cover the company’s vulnerabilities or to protect an individual’s opportunity to hog the glory aren’t acceptable.
  5. Cookie cutters need not apply. Personality should be celebrated, not merely tolerated. Employees are viewed as vibrant individuals, not cogs in a wheel.
  6. Employees have lives outside the office, so flexible schedules and telecommuting aren’t luxuries only afforded parents.
  7. Management invests in professional development because they want to grow leaders and keep employees challenged.   From conferences to mentorship programs to tuition contributions, employees are exposed to new ideas and different perspectives.
  8. Healthy debate is encouraged.  “Because I said so” isn’t a valid reason for doing something. Employees understand the whys and how their work fits into the overall strategic plan.
  9. Failure means you’re takings risks and doing something new.  And staff can learn just as much from a plan gone off the rails as from trying to replicate successes.

What makes or breaks a work environment for you?