Are you forced to wear pieces of flair at work? Do people make you talk about it? This is not the way to create corporate culture.
Corporate culture is certainly getting a lot of buzz these days, and it’s critical to your organization’s success. Sure, it’s nice to be
talked about, and having a unique work environment makes for great
word-of-mouth (eg, Zappos, Facebook). But that’s not really what makes cool office spaces so instrumental in creating culture. A workplace that reflects the
attitudes and ideas of the company collectively makes for happy, energetic,
months ago, we decided to start looking for new office space. For several
years, we were operating out of two different offices, which made it very
difficult for us to get to know each other. Some team members had spoken on the
phone over several years, and had never met in person. Each office had its own
culture. When we came together for company events, there was a noticeable
divide between who worked at which office. It was frustrating at times.
now. We’re finally under one roof, working together, collaborating and sharing
ideas in what we’ve dubbed The Blinds.Complex. Several things have happened to
increase people’s outlook and productivity:
- Everyone had a
hand in decorating the space. First, we brought in well-known space
planner Scott Strasser, who helped us lay out the area, choose color and
give the space personality. Then, every department was allowed to decorate
as they saw fit. Customer service chose a superhero theme because they are
always coming to customers’ rescues. Sales chose music, because customers’ voices are “music to their ears.”
- There is a
general lift in mood due to everyone’s communal efforts. We are a small
business, of about 75 employees, and rely on each other for small things
from keeping the kitchen clean, to helping out with an order someone else
doesn’t have time for. The entire team has really come together in this
- CEO Jay promotes
a culture of transparency. Now that everyone is together and he has the
ability to speak to every employee on a daily basis, that need for transparency
has virally spread. It is contagious; it starts from the top.
- We are a dotcom
company. Our new office reflects that. Though there are few of us in Houston, TX,
we take pride in being the largest dotcom in the city. One of our
conference rooms, nicknamed “The Alley,” is filled with beanbags instead
of chairs, and our IT department has a Flux Capacitor of Back to the
Future fame hanging on the wall. These are just two of the many small
touches that make our office distinctive.
be clear. Culture does not come from Flux Capacitors and bean bags. Culture is
derived from a community that values transparency and the opinions of the
entire team. If you work in a law firm, maybe some of these eccentric touches
aren’t for you. It’s time to find out what IS you, and implement those things.
They might seem like no big deal, but they’re the things that foster imagination
and curiosity. And no matter what your profession, imagination and curiosity
should be valued at the highest level.
Service Representative Sarah Batalla had this to say about The Blinds.Complex:
new office is amazing it is so much more than I expected! There is a
sense of pride that is now present in everyone. It’s as though the entire
company has been reanimated.”
When establishing and building your own culture, remember to focus on
what works for you and helps your employees be their most productive. You’ll
have a better, stronger team.
What’s unique about YOUR corporate culture that makes employees excited to come into the office every day? Share them with us!