Depending on which study or pundit you choose to believe, as much as 93% of communication may be nonverbal. For one example of that, take a quick stroll through a workplace, be it an office or factory. Though we can't always put a finger on it, there's an almost instant sense of whether employees are genuinely engaged and happy with their company and fellow workers.
Enjoying your chosen profession is crucial for those in search of a long, fulfilling career. We simply spend too much time doing what we do for a living to not enjoy our job or workplace.
Regardless of your role, or the responsibilities the role entails, your company and teammates can make a position either intolerable, or an absolute pleasure. Here are a few telltale signs you've chosen the right place to set up shop.
You've been here how long?
While a quick stroll through the office won't answer this question, it's certainly a positive sign when employees not only land a job, they like it enough to stick around for years. Eventually negative surroundings would result in folks heading for the exits, despite good compensation, benefits, or other positives.
Talk to me
A workplace that not only encourages but expects open communication, regardless of rank or position, is another sure sign you've found a good professional home. Not only does honest communication limit the often destructive rumors that begin around the proverbial water cooler, but it also makes asking for a warranted raise or promotion a much easier proposition.
Is that a smile I see?
It may sound simplistic, but the general demeanor of the folks around the workplace is a good indication of how they feel about being there. A few smiles are the sign of a good work environment. Nothing but furrowed brows and sneers? Uh-oh. Of course, a bunch of folks sitting around telling jokes and laughing uncontrollably isn't necessary or even appropriate, but the occasional smile speaks volumes about the mind-set of a workforce.
This is my house
Invariably, the best of workplaces involve a personal sense of ownership, whether your position is office gopher or supervisor. When a group of employees are as upset as the CEO after a tough quarter or year, and immediately begin considering what each can do to turn the tide for the better, that's a great sign.
The world around us, including our professional environment, is constantly changing. Sometimes the changes are unmistakable, other times more subtle, but they're a certainty nonetheless. A good workplace is one that doesn't fight inevitable change but rather embraces it for what it is: the next challenge.
A drum roll, please
Being recognized for a job well done is another sign of a strong workplace. Being asked to stand up and be counted for a particularly good result you've helped foster is embarrassing to some, but also feels pretty darn good at the end of the day. A workplace that encourages recognition, even if it's nothing more than a pat on the back, is a place to stay.
Promote from within
Professional growth opportunities are a key component of most any workplace, and one that emphasizes finding already-qualified internal candidates first, if at all possible, is a place to be. Better still, if a company looks to make internal candidates qualified, even if it requires some additional training, for a growth opportunity, then you have a sure sign you've found a good workplace.
Values and ethics
It may sound a bit corny, but a company that is genuinely interested in improving its community speaks volumes about the people. No, it isn't necessary for a company to tackle national issues to make it a good place to work, but employees taking part of a day here or there to make a difference locally is a strong indication of a group of folks who take their jobs, their company, and their role in the community seriously. Now that's a good sign.