[List of 30] Work Culture Wins

Random Observation/Comment #510: When did “culture” become a buzzword again?

sieze the day

Culture is what makes and breaks a company. It’s an underlying mentality that shouldn’t even be a discussion, but yet always comes up as the first thing to fix. Clearly, we want happy people that work together towards getting things done while having a great time doing it. So how do you do that?

  1. Create a rotation of people to management meetings instead of the same core team
  2. Grow your own talent and have management invest in their team’s career goals
  3. Form natural groups and communities based on outside interests
  4. Let technology work for you – create standing chatrooms for #coffeechats
  5. Give your employees free coffee – I don’t believe you need to shower us with perks, but coffee is a great motivator and an easy win
  6. Encourage people to share their network connections
  7. Give people on your team creative titles like “innovation lead” or “ambassador” (even though everyone will do this at one point anyway
  8. Encourage people to use open source technologies and stay in touch with the latest
  9. Allow people to collaborate between teams
  10. Ask people to give presentations and teach material they know to others
  11. Start a group that shares geeky news with each other
  12. Encourage people to ask questions
  13. Ask management to join and support philanthropy programs – this is a great way to identify high potential candidates
  14. Create a mentorship program for all levels of employees
  15. Host a TEDx to share ideas from all levels of employees
  16. Create groups for common employee hobbies (e.g. photography, scuba diving) that involve connecting outside work
  17. Encourage teams to start outside work sports groups
  18. Allow members of your team to attend conferences
  19. Encourage paired team coding
  20. Be transparent with firm strategy on architecture and outside vendors
  21. Recognize people who are doing awesome things for fun inside and outside of work
  22. Provide budget for team lunches instead of team happy hours
  23. Provide interesting innovation projects for people to pursue
  24. Trim the proposals and status update meetings – just build it so you can fail early
  25. Encourage people to also be tech-savvy – if they don’t know a technology, they should ask developers to give them a dumb-down version of it so they can at least get the lingo without glazing over
  26. Create a solid routine within the group – grab lunch once a week, grab coffee at the same time a week, play Settlers of Catan after work, host birthday pizza lunches, etc
  27. Encourage people to network outside of the team and ask them to present debriefs of what other teams are doing
  28. Provide internal training for courses
  29. Use wikis to share what you know and which tools you use to make things easier
  30. Challenge the status quo

I believe the core to solving this problem is realizing that culture is contagious – the best way to spread it is to make people feel involved and important by providing ownership, responsibility, and stake without measuring it so it’s a competition. If you’ve hired good people, they will foster a positive and productive environment.

~See Lemons Love the Culture