What Company Culture Really Means
There are loads of conversations about company culture right now. What it looks like. What it feels like. How it benefits an organization. Really, company culture somes down to just being being kind and considerate. Doing things that are helpful to others and inclusive to all.
Most of us learned as children what being kind means, but somehow it becomes less important as we become adults and prioritize other things. And yet, being kind is essential to an organization’s success.
Let’s go back 20, 30, or 40 or more years and remember what we were taught.
Be Helpful to Your Team
What if, before saying or doing anything, everyone at work asked themselves:
“Would saying this or doing this be helpful to that person or to the team?” What would happen?
There would probably be:
- More peaceful interactions
- More belonging and participation
- More cooperation amongst peers
- More trust
- More growth
- More awesome stuff happening
When you ask yourself this question before taking any action, you’re creating space to reflect on what could happen and the consequences. You’re either preventing a bad situation or providing an opportunity for something good to happen.
Other times, it’s useful to ask:
“Are there any issues? Would it be helpful to you if…?”
It’s very easy to get engrossed in other things, especially as a business owner. Asking these kinds of questions can help you remember to check in with other people and see how they’re doing.
At Big Pixel, a website was going live on a Sunday, which meant Gary was going to be working over the weekend to ensure that the launch went smoothly. David checked in with Gary several times and offered to help. On the day of the launch, David ubered over dinner to Gary as a way of supporting and thanking him for working on the weekend to support a client.
These kinds of thoughtful gestures make it easy for team members to be willing to help when needed.
Extend the Benefit of the Doubt
Have you seen the video that went viral of a little league baseball pitcher who pitches the ball and it accidentally hits the batter in the head? The response of the batter is a great example of many things, one of which is giving someone the benefit of the doubt.
When it appears that a team member isn’t keeping up with their tasks or are making mistakes, is your first instinct to rake them over the coals? Consider offering them help instead.
“What can I do to help? What do you need?”
Being helpful instead of jumping to conclusions could spark a conversation in which they share things that are going on with them. At the very least, it will help to create a supportive environment where people work together as a team to resolve issues and get projects done.
This ties into the first point we made about being helpful to your team. Words really do matter. In the words of Hawk Nelson, “Words can build you up, words can break you down, start a fire in your heart or put it out.”
Need I say another word?
Based on an excerpt from our BIZ/DEV podcast, Episode 53.