What Makes a Company Great? Discover 5 Best Green Flags

What Makes a Company Great? Discover 5 Best Green Flags
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 21 December, 2022
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When looking for a job, it’s important to find the right fit so that you are eager to go to work, more productive, and more likely to stay. To do this, you need to know the characteristics of a good company, one that ticks all of your ‘dream job’ boxes.

You’ve heard of ‘red flags’ in a company – these are the signs to watch out for that should make you avoid an organization. Conversely, ‘green flags’ are the positive signs that show you how to find good companies to work for. These signs are the aspects or characteristics of a good organization – they’re what makes a company great.

In this article, JobStreet shares five green flags that will help you make a decision about which companies to apply to and which ones to join.

How to Find Good Companies to Work For

We all know how difficult it is to survive, much less thrive, in a toxic environment. We’re all looking for that dream job where coming in daily is something we look forward to, instead of meeting the mornings with a groan.

However, it’s not always easy to discover just how stressful a workplace is until we are deep in the middle of a project and encountering problems. It’s when we face challenges that we discover just how toxic an environment is. These could be anything from an unsympathetic manager to an obnoxious new colleague – or worse.

However, no workplace is perfect and that’s something we have to realize. What we can look for is a company whose values align with ours, and that has as few red flags as possible.

Also read: 5 Easy Ways To Self-Check Your Career Development

What are Green Flags?

We’ve heard of red flags – they’re the signs of a toxic environment and work culture that should warn you away or make you think about moving to another company. Among them are the lack of management support, a shortage of resources necessary to perform your work well, problematic superiors and colleagues, and a culture that turns a blind eye to harassment, bullying, credit-grabbing, unfair treatment, micro-aggression, and other negative behaviors and attitudes.

Staying in a company full of red flags could lead to stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout. It’s time to look for the green flags, the signs of a healthy work culture and environment, one that allows its employees to grow not just as workers but as individuals and in a holistic manner.

Also read: Alarming Ways Workplace Toxicity Can Affect Your Mental Health

Five Best Characteristics of a Good Company

1. The job listing is transparent and clear.

Look for job listings that include a detailed job description with reasonable responsibilities and tasks, work hours, and at least a market-rate salary. This shows you that the company is well organized and knows what it wants in a candidate, and is prepared to pay the appropriate compensation.

A company that does not state outright what the compensation is could be hedging to lowball its candidates. If the job description and hours are vague, they could demand other tasks other than those you anticipated or ask you to work beyond the usual work hours.

A well-written, transparent job listing is also a sign that the company pays attention to detail and has a good system for selecting and hiring.

2. The interview process is organized, pleasant, and includes your immediate superior.

If the interview is organized, it likely means the company has a system with processes and procedures that ensure a smooth workflow. Nothing is more frustrating than dealing with an HR department that is disorganized and whose procedures are confusing, redundant, and outright illogical.

A pleasant interview is one where the interviewer acts and looks professionally, puts you at your ease, performs active listening, is respectful, and answers your questions with the right amount of detail as well as honesty, directness, and passion about the company, its mission, and people.

Having your direct superior at your interview is important because that’s who you’ll be working with every day, and they should let you know what’s expected of you. It also shows that management respects the decision of non-senior staff and gives them the autonomy to help select team members.

It’s also a green flag when the interviewer is frank about the company’s shortcomings. To find this out, ask questions about the company’s internal and external challenges and whether something is being done to resolve them. This lets you know if there is a need for change and if something is being done toward this. See how the interviewer reacts and whether they answer your questions with evasiveness (red flag) or openness (green flag).

Also read: Best Tips on How to Win a Phone Interview

3. The company has a vision-mission-values statement that it abides by.

Strategic management principles state that for an organization to successfully fulfill its mission, it must be guided by its vision and values. However, for many companies, coming up with a Vision-Mission-Values statement is done merely for compliance, and they don’t ‘walk the talk.’ If a company and its people are genuinely guided by their values and are passionate about their vision and mission, and their values are aligned with yours, then that’s a green flag.

Why are a company’s values important, those both stated and unstated? These are what guide and shape the company’s work culture (the behaviors and attitudes of people within an organization), policies, strategies, goals, mission, leadership style, and work style.

If a company’s values align with yours, that’s a green flag. It means leaders are likely to make decisions that reflect how you also feel.

Also read: 5 Questions on Company Culture You Need to Ask During an Interview

4. Benefits, deductions, sick leave-vacation leave days, probation period, work days and hours, holidays, compensation and bonuses, contract details, and the like are clearly explained.

It’s a green flag when a company is transparent about all the details that matter a lot to an employee and that affect their take-home pay, taxes, working conditions, and such.

If a company has HR officers who clearly explain overtime expectations and pay, flexible time, work-from-home options, and other such details, this shows that management believes that people are essential. It also reveals that they ensure the back end runs smoothly, leaving workers free to do their work without worrying about such things.

Bonus points go to companies that observe a strict work-life balance and have policies that delineate boundaries, such as no contact during off-hours and off days.

5. Managers and colleagues are approachable and allow your voice to be heard.

Good communication is necessary to build a healthy work environment. It’s a green flag when people in a company are free to ask questions, make suggestions, and voice out complaints without feeling afraid about possible repercussions for their frankness in speaking up.

With the multitude of tasks that employees face each day, it’s a green flag when communication in a company flows smoothly, whether from top to bottom or bottom to top. Employees are kept in the loop, and leaders are comfortable asking team members for feedback, ideas, and solutions. There aren’t any gatekeepers or barriers to communications, and there are clear policies about who may speak to and what may be said to external stakeholders.

A healthy workplace is founded on good communication that’s respectful, honest, and sincere.

More Tips on How to Find Good Companies to Work For

No matter at what point you find yourself in the journey, whether it’s the interview process or actually working already, here are some tips for finding green flags:

Do your research on the company.

Before even applying, do your due diligence. Visit the company’s website. Use a search engine to find out if it has been in the news, and whether it’s good or bad. Look up its management, and find employee reviews on the company. Forewarned is forearmed.

Ask a lot of questions.

At whatever point of the journey you may be, whether it’s the interview stage or you’ve already been hired, find out as much as you can about the company’s values, its work culture, and what it’s like to work there. Ask longtime employees why they have stayed. Find out what makes the company tick.

Discover Your Dream Job

Find a company whose values align with yours, where work each day is the fulfillment of a mission. Use our resume templates to get started, then create or update your profile at JobStreet.

Job-hunting on the go? Download the JobStreet app on Google Play or the App Store.#SEEKBetterjobs by using our Career Tools and visiting our Career Resources Hub.

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