Culture (Latin: cultura, lit. “cultivation”):
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- An integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for symbolic thought and social learning.
- The set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization, or group.
Just like the scientific form of culture, the workplace kind will also grow wildly on its own. The challenge for employers is making sure the ideals they want to cultivate are what’s growing rather than something they don’t want. In this post, I’d like to challenge you to think of the culture of your home and work: What do you want those environments to be like?
The culture at Snap Social Media is adopted from our parent company, Probus OneTouch.
1. Hiring Procedures
When I first met with the Snap Social Media team, the most important thing they said about their company was the people. That’s why they didn’t hire me right away but instead gave me a 30 day trial period to see how I fit in with the company culture.
After getting to know my colleagues a little better, I learned that most of them have a connection to each other outside of work in some respect. A couple are related, and some went to high school or college together. Bottom line: You need to know what’s most important to the culture of your organization and set those expectations before you hire someone.
2. Company Lunches
You know the saying: “The best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Well, the same is true for your employees. Probus has company lunches every other Wednesday, and they are definitely something we all look forward to.
Once a month, the company buys food for everyone, and once a month we have a potluck. The rule is that we all eat together during these lunches.
Our last potluck theme was “Brought to you by the letter M,” so we all brought food that started with “M.” It was lots of fun, and it’s a great way to get conversations started about why you did that, where this recipe came from, etc. Great way to bring everyone together in a casual, non-work way while still being at work.
3. Starts at the Top
Attitudes and work ethic are the two biggest things that new employees take note of and emulate. I once worked for a large corporation on a team of about 7 people. Within my first week, the team had me questioning my manager and the position I just started. I let my new teammates poison my attitude, which greatly affected my work ethic at the company.
Needless to say, I didn’t last long there. So take note of your own attitude and what your work ethic might be described as, because somebody is always watching. In smaller companies, this definitely starts with the CEO.
4. Getting Personal
Another great way that Probus and Snap Social Media have created an awesome work environment is by getting personal. Our company lunches help a lot with this, but really it starts with the people.
Making a point to get to know new people and learn about their life outside of the walls of work is definitely important. We are more than what we do for a living—so get to know what else your employees and colleagues live for!
5. Open Door Policy
A few higher-ups at Probus have offices, but they’re only closed if they’re on an important phone call or in a meeting. Otherwise, the doors are always open. The rest of us have cubicles.
I used to hate when I was on the phone because I knew everyone could hear what I was saying, but now I love it! Having to make phone calls I don’t look forward to, already knowing that all my colleagues could hear me, didn’t sit well with me at first.
But now that I know my colleagues a lot better and they pipe in after a difficult or humorous conversation, I’ve been able to stretch my comfort zone to new lengths.
Keep the Conversation Going
Leave a comment below about other things you feel help promote great company culture or what you love about your company.