My Favorite Culture Recipe
If you went into remote work with a not so great culture, that has probably followed you. But it is never too late to start working on making it better.
There are just a few key ingredients you need for the perfect culture recipe. Purpose, leadership, and a team that is willing to try new things and make them work. Culture is not about the physical realm of your office, but about the people who make up your company and how they show up for each other.
I have spent many years supporting remote workers. It started because we had some top talent moving to another state for spouses and we did not want to lose them. So we made a plan to help them become successful remote Savages. That led to conversations with leadership about how to expand this as an offering for employees sustainably. Although this plan was created for just a few people, when the pandemic hit Houston it was scaled immediately. With technology, that is an easy push. But for culture, it is not so easy. How could we, as a team, reshape our work culture that was so prevalent in our physical office into a virtual community.
At Savage, our culture has been built on purpose. By that I mean, we all know and are reminded of what our purpose is, as a company. Working remotely during a time of crisis made us all lean into our purpose, and lean on it, for support in a world that felt shaky at times. Even when you never leave your house, it helps if you wake up every day with a purpose.
“I am not a bricklayer… I am building a cathedral”
Having a guiding purpose, and having a leadership team that helps you see that what you are doing is supporting the greater good, is key to keeping your culture alive.
Speaking of leadership, if it had not been for ours leading the way into actively building a positive network and embracing different technology for communication, it would have been hard. But they leaned into Slack, built workspaces for teams, led conversations beyond work stuff, and shared personal experiences with us. This led to an even more familiar lens on who our leaders are, where they come from, and what they value. Nothing beats having a Zoom meeting interrupted by someone’s child, pet, or significant other to remind you that you are speaking to a fellow human, not just a boss. In those moments of vulnerability, we are again reminded of who we are working with.
Savage also has an internal team that brings us all together for fun. The Fun Committee is one of the best perks of our organization because they go above and beyond to create experiences that help us learn more about each other. Beyond the Zoom Happy Hour, we have had gatherings both virtual and in-person over the past year that have kept us all connected. If your feeling disconnected from your team, maybe you are the person your company is looking for to create your own Fun Committee. Organize a good old-fashioned show and tell, like we used to do in primary school, for your next all-staff meeting. Ask people to tell a story about what is on their wall, share a memento from a vacation, or it could even just be the wallpaper on their desktop and why they have it. In those few minutes of sharing your team will have a better connection immediately.
An amazing work culture starts with the guiding light of purpose, takes root in the values you all share, and is ever-present in the behaviors of your coworkers and how they show up. If your company has not articulated what these are, then start there. Because your tech person can give you every tool you need to get work done, but it is your culture that brings people to those tools every day.
With a love for design and a passion for technology this mother of four has never shied away from a day of hard work in either. After working in the IT field as a marketing director, she now works in the marketing field as Manager of Technology & Business Services for Savage. Just don't be fooled by her sweet nature, underneath lies the heart of a gamer, and the competition better watch out.