Culture matters. It’s the bond that keeps a country from war. It’s a source of pride. It makes history. Culture affects whether your coworkers are productive or disgruntled. It’s what many companies lack. Beer, ping pong, and shiny iMacs are not culture. So what is?
Having lunch together, laughing with each other, being honest, supporting one another, and working together as a team are all parts of a positive culture. Stifling ideas, insulting coworkers behind others’ backs, being secretive, and getting drunk on a weekday because work sucks is also culture – negative culture. What keeps us working? Positive company culture. How do people who work at companies with a positive culture differ mentally and physically from their counterparts? Let’s do some research.
Psychology Today states that “compared to employees who are depressed or unhappy, happy employees have lower medical costs, work more efficiently and have less absenteeism.” In a Fast Company blog post, Shelley Prevost, PhD, says that “the happiest workplaces are the ones that seriously honor the humanity of their people.” KISSmetrics believes that the company “culture should be designed to alleviate the work related stress.” So how does your company stand up to comparison?
A good way to build a culture is to imagine the ideal one. Take out a sheet of paper or open a new file in your text editor of choice and answer these questions:
- Does your company have a high turnover rate?
- Do you respect all of your coworkers? Why or why not?
- How do you feel about your team’s level of camaraderie?
- How often does your whole team have lunch together?
- When is the last time your team got out of the office for something other than a business trip or for drinks?
Write your ideal answers next to each of your factual answers. Do those answers line up? If not, you might want to look into spending more time with your coworkers in a positive manner. Teams work better and faster when they’re in a positive environment. After all, they’re human. If things aren’t amazing yet, it’s not too late. You have the opportunity to change lives for the better. Some companies are full of positive, happy people who do good work. Yours can be, too.
If you answered the above questions positively and truthfully, congratulations! You have a positive culture. Keep the love going and share your story.
Look beyond the flashy yoga rooms and sleeping pods. Is there anything left? If there was no beer fridge, what would make you happy about your work environment? Build a culture; it’s what keeps the world turning.
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A digital product designer's story of failure, self-empowerment, and redemption. Over the span of two years, Catt Small experienced the highs and lows of product development—all on the same team. She will share ways to improve your persuasion skills, create a better working relationship with your peers, conduct more holistic research, and ultimately create and release a better product.
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