One of the best signs is if current employees speak highly of the company, although Sutherland said it can be hard to find someone to ask.
“Every organisation wants to present itself well when they’re trying to recruit new staff. So of course, they’re going to want to look really good,” he said.
“If you can talk to people that already work there, then that can be really useful, although it’s not always possible to do that, but that can be a really helpful thing to get it from the horse’s mouth – what’s it actually like working there?”
Mental health days and a well-being allowance are also good signs a company cares about employees’ happiness.
“I’m not saying that having a wellbeing allowance is excellent but it does indicate that the organisation has been thinking about wellbeing.”
Sutherland said a good workplace culture is not only good for business but it’s becoming a real drawcard for employers trying to attract staff, especially with younger generations.
“We know when staff are doing well, a business does well so it’s a double benefit really.
“If a workplace treats their people well and they have a great workplace culture, usually those are the businesses that are performing well so it has benefits for both workers and employers.
The red flags
Sutherland said the biggest red flag is companies without wellbeing policies at all.
But less obvious red flags include high turnover and even possibly the average age of employees.
“If they just say, ‘Oh, we really believe in [wellbeing]’ but don’t have any policies then that suggests an organisation that isn’t really invested in that sort of thing.”
Sutherland suggested asking why a position is vacant and how often they have vacancies to find out whether there is a lot of turnover.
“You’re wanting to try and avoid an organisation with a high turnover rate. If you have lots of people coming and going, that suggests that it might not be something great about the culture.”