Culture is foundational to everything we do in businesses. Whether we’re designing a logo, picking out shirt colors or putting potted plants in the corners of our offices – we are creating culture. A key component to any business is finding which type of culture is needed to make you successful, and then sticking to it. When quality culture exists in your business, employees feel part of a team, productivity is higher, and your company stands out above the competition.
This month, we want to talk about how shared experiences can have a huge impact on the culture that you’re trying to create. A shared experience is any time multiple people on your team engage in something that might not qualify as a direct job responsibility. These types of experiences tend to be more “want-to” opportunities rather than “have-to.” Let’s take a look at four shared experiences that you could easily implement this year: meals, workouts, road trips and charitable events.
Where are we eating today?
Lunch time provides a great opportunity for people to get to know one another. During busier times of the year, though, it’s not uncommon for teams to eat at their own desks while continuing their workflow, or for folks to grab something on the road while they’re out on a sales call.
What if every once and while you declared a day where everyone eats lunch together? During a shared lunch experience people can catch up on each other’s personal lives and potentially find out something new about their co-workers. Consider buying a cheap grill for the office, and then use it as an excuse to be a grill master for the day. Recently, we purchased a mini-prize wheel and wrote the locations of nearby restaurants on it. Every Monday during our staff meeting someone spins the wheel and wherever it lands is where we buy lunch from on Thursday.
What’s this week’s workout?
There are few things in life that people avoid more than physical fitness. We often rely on the limited amount of manual labor or our general daily activity to sustain us and fill the void for physical exertion throughout the year. But this is not enough, especially in service industries like ours where we might spend the off-season seated behind a desk pouring over spreadsheets. A great way to get everyone moving is to put a workout time on the calendar. Focus on cardio and body weight exercises (sit-ups, push-ups, air squats, etc.)
The benefit of working out as a team goes beyond the obvious physical implications. Consider how it affects your business if team members were constantly inspired by each other to push through that final set of 20 sit-ups or to run through that final 200-meter lap instead of walking.
How long till we get there?
If it’s been a while since you’ve taken people offsite for a work-related event, then maybe it’s time to put one on the calendar. Often, conversations you have while driving produce a greater outcome than those you might have in your normal meeting space. Something about the road trip frees people up to think beyond the four walls of a building. This past year, we decided to take our team from Philadelphia up the I-95 corridor to Hartford, Conn., for ASCA’s National Snow & Ice Show. We’re still working off of the creative brainstorming that came out of that shared experience.
What are your passions?
Rallying your team around different passion areas will validate the passions of others, which always contributes to the strength of a team.
For the last eight years, our company has partnered with American Cancer Society because of the effect that cancer has had in so many of our team member’s lives. Our latest shared experience was a combined event in our area that brought together co-workers, clients, service providers and their families. We all worked hard on this shared experience, including many weekend and evening hours. We earned an even greater shared-success story, one we are all eager to celebrate as a team. Now that’s good culture.