Now more than ever organizations are focusing on their teams and their culture.
It’s no secret that the people that are entering the workforce want to work for organizations that share their same values. They want to feel like their work has a purpose and can make a difference. Culture has also become a way for organizations to set themselves apart from the competition, build a brand identity, attracting the right talent, and increase performance and employee satisfaction.
Company culture continues to evolve daily as new employees, clients, and other environmental factors are introduced. For us here at Solid Digital, culture is something we focus on a lot, and having two offices on opposites sides of the country has certainly made it challenging (but not impossible) to create a cohesive team culture.
From the moment one of our Directors identify a need to open a position here at Solid Digital, we ask that they focus not only on their prospects’ qualifications but also their personality. This is important because the overall dynamic that particular person can bring into our company can enhance culture or damage it*. That being said, we want to make sure that the people joining Solid Digital are not only good at what they do, but that they are passionate about the team, the culture, and the work we are doing.
Just like we want people to be a good fit for the team, we want to ensure that Solid Digital is a good fit for them as well. Our company values and information about our culture is shared with a prospect at the early stages of the interview process, so they know what to expect without being surprised.
*Read: Harvard Business School Study on Toxic Workers
Communication is key to having a cohesive team, especially when not everyone is in the same room. Slack is one of the communication tools that Solid Digital uses that has been highly impactful to our culture. Everyone in the company uses it actively—we have channels specific to projects we might be working on, channels dedicated to each office sub-culture, and a #General channel where major announcements and company-wide communication takes place.
We have also expanded those channels to things like #Random, where you are allowed to share fun and off-beat content with the team. Recently we’ve even created #Solid-Dailies, a channel where we all interact and learn more about each other through questions and trivia.
Along with Slack, we host a weekly company-wide team huddle, which is a way for us to interact with the whole team, share our wins, good news, upcoming company events, and occasionally host a guest speaker or a team member showcasing some of the work they have been doing.
We understand that our office culture in our Portland and Chicago locations are not going to be exactly the same due to varying personalities, traditions, and sub-cultures.
Although our company personality and culture may not be identical across our offices we all share common goals and values. We have a dedicated person on our team that focuses on culture initiatives and we have a culture committee where members of both offices can come together to discuss activities and events that are similar but tailored to the culture of each office.
Simple things like having our company values in both locations, sharing information in real time through our Slack channels, planning and executing events with the right focus in mind are all things that can help team members feel connected and valued.
We don’t have a cookie cutter approached to how we influence culture, but we do influence it with positive actions and encourage our team to cultivate it by participating in activities, speaking up when something is not working, and simply being the very best that they can be.
As we continue to grow and our team continues to evolve, our company culture will continue to change. It is our duty to evaluate the positive and negative aspects of our culture, make changes to continue improving what is not right, and continue to reinforce the things that are working and people enjoy.