A decade ago, companies were bringing in beer taps, bean bags, and ping pong tables to attract talent and appeal to a younger generation of workers. Like many trends, while not inherently wrong, time quickly proved that these (at the time) innovative benefits were not a substitute for lasting cultural transformation. Unless a trend or initiative is tied to a value the organization truly holds, their impact will be hamstrung. I’m joining a webinar soon to talk about the first steps to build a culture of enduring greatness and invite you to listen in — read on for details.
In the meantime, I posted on LinkedIn asking my connections to share positive changes they’re seeing in the culture world. I was so encouraged to hear what others are doing to make a difference in their company cultures! Culture goes far beyond trends and it’s important that before we get too creative, we tend to the foundation of our company culture.
Below is a list of the themes I gathered from culture builders on LinkedIn. I hope you enjoy these leaders’ insights as much as I did.
Reinventing the In-Office Experience
Kindra Svendsen shared how her company, Speak Creative, has created new open-air outdoor workspaces to allow their team to get some fresh air and work outside. They have also created Library Corners where employees can borrow or leave a book on the hobby/interest of their choice in little corners around the office.
This is a great example of thoughtfully adding to a workplace environment!
Caring for the Whole Person
Speak Creative has also introduced a program called Spark that allows team members to explore interests outside of work. So far they’ve done mindfulness workshops, finance classes, photography tips, and have more sessions lined up for the rest of the year.
I love this idea of allowing employees to engage with each other while exploring topics that are outside of work. Several studies have shown that having hobbies outside of work can make us more productive and confident in our roles.
Helping However You Can
Another inspiring story came from Evan May. Evan’s team established a “bless a team member” stipend. If a staff member sees an opportunity to honor or encourage someone on their team, they can use the stipend to purchase a $50 gift card from a vendor they believe would be the most meaningful to the team member.
This is a great way to implement a recognition program. By putting it in the hands of your employees, you empower them to look for the good in others (and they likely know what their peers would enjoy more than company executives).
Mental Wellness at Work
Andy Chell shared that his company, Corndel, is focused on the mental health and well-being of their team. One way they’re doing this is by establishing Wellness Wednesdays where employees are encouraged to spend time getting outside and walking with colleagues.
While a walking meeting isn’t a new concept, I love that Andy’s team is going the extra mile to promote this. It may be that your employees need to hear from you that not only is something as simple as taking a meeting outside allowed, it’s encouraged!
Do you have a creative idea or a way that your organization is innovating in a way that expresses your values and builds culture? I’d love to hear from you! Reply to this email or join the conversation here on LinkedIn.
Together, we can truly build Unstoppable Cultures!