Your workplace’s culture has a huge impact on your happiness and success, which is why it’s important to suss out a company’s values, norms, and practices before you take a new job.
To do this, Adam Grant, a professor of management at Wharton who wrote the forthcoming book “Originals,” writes in The New York Times that you need to ask one important question: “How is this organization different from all other organizations?”
The answer, he says, should come in the form of a story.
“Ask people to tell you a story about something that happened at their organization but wouldn’t elsewhere,” Grant suggests.
When listening to stories about what makes a company unique, it’s crucial that you zero in on the values illustrated, or as he puts it, “the principles people show are important through their actions.”
Grant says there are three in particular you should listen for in each story:
1. Justice and fairness: Job seekers should be able to see whether the organization they’re interviewing is a fair place to work.
2. Safety and security: They should be able to tell whether it’s safe to work there.
3. Control: Job seekers should be able to determine whether they can shape their destiny and have influence in the organization.