Company values can have a huge effect on your personal well-being. Working for a company that promotes—and even financially supports—values you believe in can improve your everyday work experience. In fact, 22% of employees say that company values and culture are the factors that affect their job satisfaction the most.
But finding a company that aligns with your particular values can be tricky. Where can you find appropriate employers? How can you ensure that their employees’ experience reflects what their website says?
Read on to discover six tips for finding companies that align with your values.
Tip #1: Define Your Own Values
You may have a general idea of the company values you’re looking for. Writing them down will help you clarify them. This will make it easier to seek them out.
Create a list of the top values you’d like to see in an employer. These company values may include:
- Employee development
- Environmental justice
- Equal pay
- Local community support
- Philanthropic efforts
- Work/life balance
You may come up with a long list of preferred values. In this case, consider dividing it into must-haves and nice-to-haves.
Tip #2: Check the News
News sites can help you identify companies (especially large companies) that are making impressive strides in values you care about. They can also help you identify companies that are not performing so well.
To find companies that stand out in the areas you’re interested in, conduct a Google news search. Use key phrases such as:
- Employee diversity
- Employee equal pay
- Employee internal promotion
You may find news stories about companies hiring new leadership teams, changing policies, or even dealing with backlash around those values. These stories will help you find companies that are headed in the right direction—or companies that you’ll want to avoid.
Tip #3: Find Company Rating Lists
Some prominent magazines and organizations announce a list of top employers each year. These rating sites will mention their reasons behind rankings, often citing values-related programs and efforts.
Among other rating categories, you can find:
- General ratings, like Forbes’s The World’s Best Employers
- Industry-specific ratings, like Science Magazine’s Top Employers
- Regional ratings, like Crain’s Best Places to Work in NYC
Consulting rating sites is one of the easiest ways to identify top companies with beliefs that align with yours.
Tip #4: Explore Company Websites
Companies will often tell prospective candidates about their values upfront. This helps them attract the kind of candidates that they’d like to hire.
Look for company values on:
- Company websites, where companies may tout their support of certain causes, stating that a certain amount of proceeds go to this or that cause
- About Us pages, where they may describe the processes they rely on to source or make their products.
- Career pages, where they may list employee-centric values on the top of the page or under sections titled “Company Values,” “Our Values,” or “What We Believe In.”
You will want to take these proclaimed values with a grain of salt. However, don’t discount the fact that a company says they support them. They may be working toward full support of these stated values. There’s also a good chance that many of their employees support them. Having coworkers who prioritize the values you care about is important, too.
Tip #5: Reach Out to Current Employees
Once you’ve identified companies that seem to share your values, consider reaching out to their current or past employees. They can tell you about their lived reality.
Employees may be able to let you know whether:
- Values mentioned in magazine ratings are accurate
- News stories about a company values-related incident are true
- Company-stated priorities hold true in day-to-day situations
You may not have any personal connections with a company’s current or past employees. In that case, check LinkedIn to see if you have any distant professional relationships that will help you reach out.
Tip #6: Ask Targeted Interview Questions
You can also identify company values during the interview process. Showing that you are interested in certain values tells your interviewer that you are a person with conviction.
Ask targeted interview questions about company values, such as:
- Does your company ensure equal pay for men and women?
- How does your team prioritize diversity?
- What steps is your business taking to reduce your environmental footprint?
- Are the leadership team’s business decisions transparent for employees?
- Do managers support employee development?
Your interviewer’s answers to these interview questions will help you determine whether the business’s company values align with your own.
Finding a company with values that align with yours is key to your long-term job satisfaction. By conducting thorough research, you’ll find an employer with company values that will help you thrive.