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Top-Shelf Tip No. 113:

"At its core, organizational health is about integrity."

Patrick Lencioni

10 Signs Of A Healthy Workplace, Part 1

Interviewing for new job can feel a bit like speed dating. When those with whom you interview say the right things up front, the job can appear to be an attractive opportunity. But after the second or third interview, you may start to pick up on some red flags.

When looking to make a job change, how can you tell a good fit from a bad one? Today and tomorrow, Promotional Consultant Today shares these important guideposts identified by Liz Ryan, a Fortune 500 senior vice president of human resources, that signal qualities of healthy workplaces.

1. Flexibility to work from home. In trust-based organizations, employees can work on a flexible schedule and/or work from home, at least occasionally. These companies trust their employees enough to let them get the work done where and when they choose.

2. Project-based work. In healthy companies, jobs are built around projects and initiatives rather than lists of tasks. Companies hire people to move things forward, and healthy companies have these initiatives identified and outlined. Without knowing the mission, why would anyone want the job?

3. Job descriptions that reflects the mission. Written job ads and job descriptions focus on the meaty challenge the newcomer will tackle, rather than long lists of essential requirements. Job descriptions are written for the job seekers reading them, and are engaging and descriptive.

4. A positive culture. In a healthy workplace, the culture in the facility is good. Employees are talking happily with each other, joking and walking around. In a tense, fearful workplace, workers are hunched over their desks and making negative comments.

5. Measurement on qualitative results. In a trusting workplace, your principle metrics in the job will be qualitative, not quantitative. If you are measured strictly quantitatively, such as the number of accounts closed, your brilliance will never show itself. Fearful managers live and die by metrics because they are so easy to measure. True leaders use metrics sparingly and let employees bring their individual talent to work instead.

For more signals of healthy places to work, read PCT again tomorrow.

Source: A former opera singer, Liz Ryan served as senior vice president of human resources for a Fortune 500 company. The higher she got in the corporate world, the more operatic the action became. She started writing about the workplace for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1997 and now writes for LinkedIn and Forbes.com. She also leads the worldwide Human Workplace movement to reinvent work for people. Her book, Reinvention Roadmap: Break the Rules to Get the Job You Want and Career You Deserve is available on Amazon.com.

Compiled by Cassandra Johnson

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