It has always been a strong belief of mine that a great culture contributes to a great organisation. But what does a great culture actually look like?
While we can look at examples of who’s doing it well and workplace cultures we’d like to aspire to, there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the perfect workplace culture.
So how do you go about creating one? Let’s start with defining what a good culture looks like to you, then take inspiration from brands who are doing it well, and finally, scale the ideal culture to the needs of your business.
What does a good culture look like for you?
This is a question that only you can answer, and only your team can agree upon. For me, culture isn’t a thing but rather a place where everyones’ values align with what the organisation stands for. They connect with these values on a level greater level than just believing in them; they embody them. It looks like a happy team walking through the door, or a group of people dedicated to helping each other grow.
Whatever you think of “good culture” as, it’s important to have an open discussion about it with your team so you can arrive at one shared vision for your organisation.
Who’s doing it well?
When I set out to discover what great culture looks like, I started with brands whose cultures I admired and one that really stood out was Lululemon Athletica. I was lucky enough to meet with their People Potential Partner, Stephanie Meredith. Stephanie shared her Lululemon journey with me, and all the things that make it an authentic employer brand with a great culture.
In addition to their vision, goal setting and community built around sharing, what really caught my attention was their #getattracted walk. The #getattracted walk was inspired by founder Chip Wilson who was known for meeting people at Vancouver’s Grouse Grind Mountain to sweat it out on a climb, as they shared their goals and spoke about their development. In Australia, the People Potential team were inspired by this concept, and have created a walking event in Melbourne for the the wider local community, as Lululemon guests are invited to join the walk and share their goals as well. This event occurs at the Melbourne Botanical Gardens walking track (aka the tan) on the first Wednesday of every month rain, hail, or shine.
Other admirable cultural initiatives at Lululemon for their guests include their vision and goals education series on their website, and their interview process where a prerequisite to joining the team includes sweating in the community with the hiring manager, and opening up and sharing your true self and goals.
Once you have a solid idea of what you want your workplace culture to look like, start researching brands that you admire and create a “culture wish list comprised of activities and assets you’d like to incorporate into your culture.
Then it’s time to…
Scale Your Ideal Culture To Your Organisation
We don’t all have a big budget to create the perks of overseas retreats and large game rooms, but there are still ways to make your dream culture come true. Now that you have a culture wish list of all the things that your culture needs to be made up of and inspiration from brands that are doing it well, it’s time to scale those things to your brand size and needs.
Here are some examples of big ideas that you can do on a smaller scale, and can get started on them right away:
- Organise a lunch time or before-work group exercise to encourage a feeling a health and vitality
- Start your morning meetings with saying what you are grateful for. This puts everyone in a positive mindset to start the day
- If you like table games like ping pong or air hockey but can’t afford them, try grabbing some spare desks or using the boardroom to create a DIY version yourself
- Create an “inspired eats” event. Grab some lunch and get people to share awesome TED talks to inspire and educate each other
- Run a vision board workshop or get people to share what drives them and display them on a wall where they can engage with each other’s passions
- Find a way to celebrate everyone’s culture and individuality through things like “Harmony day” which is a great way of sharing food while learning about each other’s heritage.
So to recap, even though the perfect workplace culture can seem unattainable at times, it’s completely achievable if everyone unites around a common vision and is dedicated to see it through.
What are some activities or items on your culture wish list? Share them with me in the comments!
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