ISO a Human Leadership culture – the jobseeker edition


In today’s challenging job market, it’s not just about finding a job; it’s about finding the right job with the right company. Beyond salary and benefits, organizational culture plays a pivotal role in your job satisfaction and long-term career success.

Are you tired of being just another face in the crowd at your workplace? Are you seeking an environment where leaders truly value and empower their team members? If the answer is yes, then recognizing a culture of Human Leadership during your job search is equally important as landing the job itself.

Here are ten tips with ten prompts on how to identify a culture of Human Leadership during a job search. Use these tips to guide your due diligence in making your short list of companies where you’d like to interview. Use the prompts during informational or formal interviews to gather data to help you in decision making.

  1. Demonstrate appreciation: Look for signs that leaders appreciate and acknowledge employee efforts. A recognition system or something as curated as a handwritten thank-you note shows a culture that values its team members. Prompt: Describe the most recent time someone showed you appreciation for your workplace contributions.
  2. Help employees feel heard: An established process, anonymous suggestion box, or ‘open-door’ policy that encourages employees to share their thoughts and concerns is a promising sign. Leaders who actively solicit feedback from the ground up create an inclusive environment. Prompt: How does this organization hear its employees’ voices?
  3. Implement employee suggestions: Great leaders not only listen but act on team members’ suggestions. Look for leaders who invite conversation and dialogue, and implement strategic, operational, and tactical improvements based on employees’ insights. Prompt: Which ideas have employees contributed that were put into practice?
  4. Trust from the get-go: Leaders who trust their employees from the beginning, rather than making them earn trust, create a culture of empowerment where people feel safe to stretch and take on challenging assignments. Prompt: Tell me about trust in this organizational culture.
  5. Customize roles: A leader who collaborates with employees to craft roles that align with their needs, rather than just sticking to the generic, one-size-fits-all approach, points to a human-centric culture. Prompt: How have you job crafted and customized your role in this organization?
  6. Embrace positive change: Leaders who actively work to bring about positive change and don’t settle for the status quo ( how things have always been done ), demonstrate a commitment to growth and innovation. Prompt: Tell me about three changes you’ve observed since you started working here.
  7. Break down silos: A leader who shares information and brings people together, breaking down departmental silos, creates a collaborative work environment for people to work together and deliver exceptional results. Prompt: To what extent do people freely share information with each other? 
  8. Be inclusive: Look for leaders who invite everyone to the table, especially internal and external stakeholders. Inclusivity promotes a cooperative, rather than competitive, mindset. Prompt: Share three examples of when you’ve observed leaders demonstrating inclusive behaviors.
  9. Focus on the human element: Leaders who see people as human beings with hopes and dreams, not just workers who drive output, make time to understand team members’ internal motivators. They demonstrate vulnerability and courage to show up authentically. They display empathy, kindness, compassion, and care for their fellow humans. Prompt: Tell me three examples of when organizational leaders showed vulnerability and demonstrated empathy.
  10. Coach and facilitate: Leaders who define their role as a coach, facilitator, and teacher, understand their team members’ strengths and what makes them tick, promote personal and professional growth. Prompt: How do you define your role as a leader?

When choosing your next career path, use these ten tips and prompts to help you identify a Human Leadership culture within the organizations. After all, it’s not just about the job; it’s about the culture and the people you’ll be part of. The right company will not only provide you with a paycheck but will also empower you to evolve, grow, and thrive. Organizations with forward thinking leaders understand that the workplace must be a place where humans come to grow AND to work. Happy job hunting!

Thanks to Be Human, Lead Human readers and HLI™ participants for these questions about human leadership! Do you have questions about human leadership? Drop me a note and let me know.

Even more good news: you’re already on the path to becoming a Human Leader by reading this! Be sure to subscribe to this bi-weekly newsletter for more leadership content, and visit my blog for even deeper dives into important Human Leadership content!

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