Work Hard, Play Hard: Creating a Positive Workplace Culture
“If you’re not having fun then you’re doing something wrong.” – Jim Pertinen (a prior manager of mine)
Our Launch blog typically focuses on the technical mishmash of analytics, websites, SEO, strategy, and all other things digital marketing. While certain folks in most companies find value in our waxing on about these topics, it’s not always pertinent information for everyone.
Well, here’s a subject that everyone should understand, embrace and work toward Every Single Day.
What Do We Mean by “Workplace Culture?”
It is something everybody talks about. It ranges from good or indifferent to oppressive or nonexistent. I’ve personally heard pure lip service given to culture with corporate slogans like, “Ring the bell!” Yeah, that rings pretty hollow, like something out of Office Space.
See, a great workplace culture cannot be faked. There’s no product or service you can buy that will achieve it. Culture is framed by leadership, fostered by mentors, and flourishes with great co-workers. A positive culture creates a place where employees want to work, collaborate, and thrive.
So, how does this all work?
Define and communicate everyone’s role. It’s important that employees know what is expected of them and how their success will be measured. Be sure to openly communicate their performance with them at all times, good or bad — don’t just do this at review time. There is a rock star inside of every employee, but trying to keep the peace or treat everybody equally actually does a disservice to the struggling co-worker. Stay on top of this and you’ll have a company full of rock stars!
- Have a distinct identity. Make sure employees understand why the company exists, what makes it great, and the values you’re striving for. It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning and go to work with a sense of drive and pride if there’s only an understanding of what your role is, and not why it’s important.
- Empower everyone. No matter what their role, everyone has something to contribute. Successful businesses tend to be good at solving problems in an agile, ever-changing environment. Being inclusive when addressing difficult problems allows those with different views and experiences to evaluate problems from different angles. That said, there should be a primary decision maker to make the final call — avoid the dreaded “solution by committee!”
- Have fun! Get out of the office for team outings. Keep things light. Stamp out drama wherever it lurks. Have some fun diversions around the office so folks can take a break and blow off some steam.
A positive office culture isn’t hard to achieve, but it doesn’t happen on its own. At Launch, our culture is a strong part of our mission, and we focus on cultivating a great one every day so we can enjoy the results of our labors.