I was having lunch with a neighbour yesterday and we got on to the topic of work. One of the questions he asked me was along the lines of "define a 'good work culture', what do your best clients do that is different to others?"
Now all companies will be slightly different, but from the ones that I've seen do it the best, there two pretty common denominators:
1. CONNECTION - Finding a way for your people to find something in common is one of the most essential parts of an amazing internal culture. I honestly believe it's a basic human need to want to feel connected to a group you're going to be spending a lot of time with. If you can get people to connect on a different level, away from the spreadsheets or presentations, this will translate over to them being willing to do anything for one another in the workplace. I've seen this done through old-fashioned nights out on the booze, cooking classes, terrarium building workshops, live stand up comedy, fitness classes, book clubs, orchestras and just about anything else you can think of. Build that human element first and the rest will follow, people need to feel comfortable within their work tribe before they can thrive in their roles.
2. PURPOSE - This isn't about finding a higher meaning or anything spiritual (necessarily), but it's about helping your people to identify what they love in their role or what they want to do more of day to day. We often see a high churn rate at companies, people feel like they've run out of options in their role, or ways to progress and so instead of speaking to managers they leave the company and the company loses precious talent. This is where a great L&D programme comes into its own. Finding out what makes individuals tick, what gets them going in the morning, enables you to find new ways to motivate and incentivize people. Introducing new ways of thinking, of doing things as well as simply investing in your teams in diverse ways, can help coax out a passion for the job they didn't know existed. The result is you have someone who comes to work each and every day and knows exactly why they're there and what they want to achieve. That makes for an infectiously positive atmosphere, where you're surrounded by colleagues who want to grow.
I would love to hear what your company is doing that makes it a great place to work, pop a comment below.