I Asked What You Like About Your Company’s Culture… Here’s what you said:

Recently, I put a question out to the social media outlets… SnapFace, FaceChat, ChatBook, InstaClick, you know… the tools all the kids are using today. The question was simple: What is it you like or dislike about your company’s culture. Here’s what you said (with my comments in italics):

What you dislike — let’s get the negative out of the way and end with the good stuff.

  • Lack of communication — There’s a lot in these 3 words. Interpret that as you will, but on the positive side of this, I see transparency as being an element of a great culture, but it doesn’t come without challenges. (I’ll write a different blog post on this)
  • Say no to open office set up…difficult to focus and to complete projects without being disrupted. — This is one of those comments that just proves there’s not a one size fits all. I’ve heard great things about open office environments, as well.
  • We don’t get recognized on a regular basis…just a little recognition of a job done well once and a while could have a positive impact on the culture. — Ever hear of www.propfuel.com?
  • Hide problems and point fingers — This goes hand in hand with fear of mistakes.
  • People freeze when the boss comes in — I saw this happen first hand when I was an Enterprise Software consultant for one of the Big 6. It was at one of the largest poultry manufacturers where the founder is a household name… I was in a room with a bunch of Sales people brainstorming. The Founder walks in and everyone froze. No one said a word… It’s was really weird, and probably a sign of a broken culture.
  • And a similar one… Blinders, the rigid hierarchical structures that jeopardize the flow within the organization and interaction between employees. Fear, reluctance and unwillingness to create communication with seniors or subordinates
  • Apples & oranges in the same basket, mismatching goals within teams, surviving through the day vs pushing for improvement. It kills collaboration, motivation and enthusiasm.

Ok, here’s the good stuff. Here’s what you like, and I broke this down into two categories — Perks (not really culture in my perspective, but related) and Culture.

Perks:

  • No vacation days :) (yes, the smiley face was actually part of the comment) and by no vacation days, what they meant was “Unlimited Vacation” — This actually works out better for the company as often times people really don’t take advantage of it and you can determine how much to bank so when people leave the company you don’t have to pay out as much in PTO. (another good blog post coming)
  • Take your child to work day.
  • Pajama day!!!
  • Team-building events and half-day Fridays
  • Free car washes every week for employees
  • Free House cleaning service for employees monthly
  • Star of the week award with an end of year raffle for one of the stars.
  • Office masseuse visit every Friday
  • Work from home flexibility

Culture:

  • Has a lot to do with the leader creating a sense of respect and teamwork. Leaders should never ask from the team, what they are unwilling to do themselves. They are often out in front, in the trenches, leading the way by example. They lead up close, inspire people through trust, and will be heard saying, “Lets go!” — I especially believe in the importance of trust. Without trust, there’s no autonomy, which is one of the keys to motivation.
  • Similarly, The CEO.
  • I love the fun we have and the positivity all around!!!
  • I absolutely love the support and camaraderie with my business partners and the freedom to work when and where I want!
  • Show people they’re appreciated. Small efforts make broad strides. This person added a quote, “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected.” (I love that — it points to the productivity gain from recognition.)
  • Collaboration and support
  • Employees follow the mission statement and values every day — I’m not a big believer in a “Mission Statement” but I like the general concept. I’m more a believer in Vision, Values and Purpose, as long as the CEO really believes. (another blog post…)
  • The focus on helping and serving others.
  • Ability to experiment and find success without fear.
  • People share problems openly and work together to solve them.
  • I love (not just like) feeling like we all really understand what we are doing and why. In case I forget (which I haven’t yet) I can go out into the galleries and watch the looks on children’s faces as they connect with our exhibits and activities. (This person’s company curates museum displays.) We are a lean, efficient organization so everyone knows that their contributions are an essential part of our success. — This reminds me of Simon Sinek’s Ted Talk on Start with Why:

Couple other thoughts on Culture:

What do you think makes a great culture?