Being an employee in an organisation could either be an amazing or a horrible experience. It involves adjusting to the organisation’s standards and culture.  While some company’s culture could be accommodating, others aren’t. So always watch out for certain red flags.

For instance, conversations concerning this on Twitter sprung recently as a result of a TechCabal article exposing toxic bosses. In the article, ex-employees of an organisation share horrible stories of working with an ex-employer and current employees corroborated them as well. An example was being called at odd hours like 2am to run some errands for the said employer. 

One would then wonder why these things occur. Are there no checks and balances in the employment system? Yes. 

First, the absence of concrete labour laws in Nigeria is a huge enabling factor for employers’ misdemeanours. Also, the unemployment rate (which is 33% at the moment) disables employees from opting for better choices. 

In addition, one would assume that innovations and tech would displace such misdemeanours but the case is contrary. In fact, many tech companies are at the forefront of reports on sexual harassment, salary delays, harsh work culture, among others. 

Red flags

The harsh reality of this is that most employees find out only after signing employment contracts and eventually stay because of a good pay or the fear of missing out. But should this always be the case? Can’t an employee get a sneak peak into what they’re entering?

Here are some ways you can spot red flags in a workplace before starting to work there.

Check reviews online

Except an organisation is just launching, there’s a high possibility you’d find reviews about it online, especially if it’s a popular one. Do your homework properly before applying. Yes, the salary offer may look attractive, but would your mental health be in line for it?

Check places and sites like Glassdoor, Nairaland, and even Twitter. What is the workplace culture like? Do they fulfil promises such as allowances, health benefits, and so on? Confirm these before applying.

Ask the employees

If an employer is good, you can always tell. The previous and current employees would attest to this. Even if there’s bad blood between the employer and a certain employee, all of them cannot lie. If you know a friend who works there or knows someone who works/worked there, ask appropriate questions. Dig deep.

In fact, just search the name of the organisation on LinkedIn and text people who work(ed) there.

Red flags
The ‘hiring culture’

If a company is always hiring and firing, something may be wrong. How often do they hire for the same position? Why are people always leaving early? These questions point out red flags.

Stability is one of the ways to judge a good company. Although people could stay because they have limited choices, the ratio of leaving to staying when being treated poorly, is higher.

If it’s too good to be true

Usually, you know the amount experts in your industry are paid. You know the highest amount you could be paid for your job so if the amount being offered to you is way higher, you should be sceptical.

“All that glitters isn’t gold“

Another factor to prove this is the organisation itself. How would a small organisation be able to afford to pay you a large amount of money?Also, what is their revenue model and at what end of the model would you be? Trust your instincts in situations like this.

The employer

When being interviewed for a position, Bukky, a content writer, says she was surprised at the patience the interviewer held.

“It was for a position in marketing and the whole marketing team was present. The head of the department began talking and my camera began to have issues. I was petrified and logged out to solve the issue. To my surprise, when I logged back in about thirty minutes later, they were all still there, waiting for me patiently.

“There was no jab or insult. The Head only said I should take a deep breath and answer the questions with a calm state. That alone was a green flag for me.”

Red flags

Although impressions could change, the first meeting with an employer or HR personnel can be a red or a green flag. For example, one of the people who shared their story in the TechCabal article mentioned that their employer said they could see “poverty written on their (the employee’s) face” during an interview.

Conclusively, it’s true that one cannot change or predict the future, however, one could prevent certain things from happening; by taking precautions and learning from experiences. 

Article written by Sola Tales 

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