Culture – this is quite a buzzword today. It is the description of the personality, the environment, or the character of that place you call work. It could be in an office, a storefront, a quick food service establishment, a classroom, a church, or anyplace. It is a broad concept for it entails working conditions, company and team members’ beliefs, interactions, vision, ethics, expectations, goals, traditions, values, and on and on. But what makes a specific culture great? What characteristics would one hope to find? We have looked at good bosses, good workers, and now we will look at the good workplace.
Now I want to say it again, this is not an exhaustive list. It is gleaned from my own experience, research, and some great articles by top platforms. So feel free to add to your list, and drop me a message if you think I missed one that should never have been left off my list.
MEANINGFUL WORK – People truly desire to have a purpose, to be part of something that is challenging and adds to this world. Keep this vision, the value of the company constantly before the team. Meaningful purpose also could involve the aspect of making an impact in one’s community through humanitarian works. Companies need to realize they are part of a bigger culture – the community in which they are planted.
People want to be part of something bigger than themselves
– something that has purpose
COMMUNICATION – One of the biggest gripes on Glassdoor in relation to the workplace is lack of communication between management and the workers. Open avenues of communication are vital – to cast the vision, to keep people up to date, and by having an open door that swings both ways – from worker to management or in reverse. I would also say this involves strong team work and collaboration.
INVITING OFFICE SPACE – Okay, you may not have bean bag chairs, food courts, a Starbucks, or recreation spaces – but you don’t need to be in a run-down, life-sucking space like you find in the early scenes of Joe Vs. The Volcano. Keep it clean, keep if bright, keep it open, provide snacks and drinks (specifically coffee), and maybe let it have a personal touch.
GREAT PEOPLE – This is from the top to the bottom. A great workplace seeks the best people. This is more than skill sets, it is about being part of a team who are loyal, truth worthy, and have integrity. You do not have to hang out together outside of work, but you also don’t want to be teamed with people you would avoid either.
VALUE THE EMPLOYEE – This is shown in not only in a competitive compensation, but also in regular acknowledgement of effort and achievement. Never let a “good job” go unsaid. People want to know their work has value and that they are valued.
BALANCE – Great workplaces recognize the importance of home and work balance – of work and recreation – and they take efforts to make sure employees have that balance.
FUTURE DRIVEN – This would entail clear and measurable goals. I would also say it involves education and training for workers to plan and build for their future. Neither the company or the workers should get too comfortable at where they are – there should be a desire to keep moving forward – corporately, professionally, and personally.
PARTY – Okay, not just ignore work all the time and party. This is about celebrations – achievements, birthdays, holidays, etc. But also fun, outside the walls, activities that build the relationships. I love the episode in The Office where they set up ‘Cafe Disco’. The Boss made a place for everyone to unwind and to enjoy being together.
Now, I have never been in a place that has all of these at the same time. That would’ve been awesome. But I am still young (yes I am!) and maybe the next spot. But I can do my part to improve the culture of where I am now. What about you?
START SIMPLE, START STRONG