This debut episode of the Engage podcast explores the theme of company culture, from the perspective of employees in a variety of roles and functions. What is company culture? What makes a company’s culture “good”? What can employers do to create a good culture? What happens when a company’s culture goes bad? Tune in to hear the insights.
Host: Don Allen Stevenson III
Producers/Writers: Sarah Kyo and Kellie Onaga
Editorial Contributor: Jordynn Didlick
Composer: Lee Rosevere (License)
Don Allen (DA): Do you ever feel like your company is not hearing what you have to say? Are you a human resources professional trying your hardest to reach out to your team? Well, just like any relationship, communication is so important, and the employer employee connection is no different. That’s just one of the many topics we’ll cover on the Engage podcast, sponsored by GuideSpark. Welcome to our teaser episode. Today we’re going to talk about the importance of really investing into company culture, and what company culture means to employees here at GuideSpark. Let’s get started.
My name is Tressa Holman, and I’m the HR Administrator at GuideSpark.
My name’s Nicole Gronski. I’m a sales executive here at GuideSpark.
My name’s Jared Beeson. I’m a motion designer on the Labs team.
I’m Beth Daggert. My official title is Senior Director of Architecture.
(DA): This week we start by asking four employees the same question: what is company culture?
Tressa Holman (TH): It’s the atmosphere of the office, and how everyone works together, and if they have any little quirks or events that they do to bring up the energy and make sure everyone feels welcome and happy and excited about what they’re doing.
Nicole Gronski (NG): As a sales executive, company culture means working as a team, celebrating everybody’s wins, sharing ideas, and working together for all of us to be successful.
Jared Beeson (JB): It’s something from higher-ups that allow people to be themselves, but it’s also the people themselves that create the culture. There’s a structure that allows people to be themselves and thrive. So, a good company culture allows for that.
Beth Daggert (BD): It’s how people interact. It’s how we get business done, right? It’s how I talk to you. It’s how I talk to one of my reports. It’s how somebody in another department comes and interfaces with me.
(DA): We then asked, is there a difference between good and bad company culture?
(TH): I would say good company culture is really noticeable because people actually want to come to work and they want to interact with their coworkers and encourage everyone. Bad company culture is feeling like you’re kind of forced into it, you have to work for money, and you’re not enjoying it or you’re not growing personally or career wise.
(NG): There’s definitely a difference between good company culture and bad company culture. I think overall we have a really good company culture. What is really positive is how much everybody tries to make it even better. It’s making sure we’re very transparent – I love that. And even the company games, you can tell everyone is putting in the effort from each department to make it better.
(JB): You know, you can’t put a price on happiness. There’s times when you’re going to be frustrated with work, frustrated with your specific position, whatever it is, but if you have that good company culture to fall back on it makes a huge difference.
(BD): The one thing I’d say in general about company culture is that you get out of it what you put into it. So if you ignore it, it tends to go to the weeds. If you actually pay attention, and try to create something positive and have a goal for it, you can have a huge impact and have a fun place to work.
(DA): The next question we had is: what can happen if you have a bad company culture?
(BD): You can have a really dysfunctional culture in which people don’t talk to each other or they lob bombs over walls.
(JB): People feel like they can’t be themselves, they’re stuck doing things they don’t want to do.
(TH): If people aren’t excited about what they’re doing, they’re not going to give 110% in their work, and they’re going to be constantly looking elsewhere to go to the next best thing or to a company that’s fun and encouraging. So you might lose people, you might not get the best work ethic.
(DA): That made us curious: what does GuideSpark do to promote good company culture?
(JB): I run a workout class here at the office, and every Tuesday at five o’clock, I run around the office with my speakers and basically gather people up that want to work out. And then we work out either inside the office or out on the lawn.
(TH): Every Friday we have a “wins” meeting. It’s a really great opportunity for everyone in the company to come together, talk about any big wins that happened over the week or even any struggles. So we can get feedback from each other and learn from our mistakes or learn from our successes. But we also do other events as well. We just had GuideSpark games. It was a huge company wide event that we planned to get everyone to have fun together, take a break, team building. So we try to throw in events here and there.
(JB): This company does do a good job of letting people, if they have activities they want to do, just go for it. Or any kind of fun things they have, we don’t really limit it, as long as it’s not going to get us in trouble legally. They’re pretty much like, yeah, go for it.
(TH): All the events, no matter how big or small they are, are so important for bringing people together and making sure that everyone feels comfortable talking to each other and working together. So it really makes a difference.
(DA): So why should a company invest in good company culture?
(NG): Because that’s what, first of all, attracts talent. It motivates you, and is essentially what will retain some of your talent. We’re pitching this all the time in sales, so I definitely hear it a lot and I can see where culture does bring an impact to your workforce. Culture is emphasized here, and if you don’t have it good enough or you don’t have enough perks, people can just jump ship so quick.
(TH): Investing in company culture is really important, especially if you want to be able to maintain the people, have long-standing employees, have people stay for a long time and really put a lot of energy and passion into their work. They have to feel like they’re welcome and like it’s a great atmosphere for it. So long term it’s really important to invest in company culture.
(NG): That’s what motivates employees, it makes them wake up happy and ready to work. It brings more collaboration too, and adds an employer value proposition. It’s what helps attract talent in the first place.
(BD): The way you get the best out of people is you get them to work together, in a way that’s collaborative, inspiring. And then people want to do their best work.
(DA): That was a quick look at how GuideSpark creates company culture. Wondering how you can reach your employees and establish culture in your workplace? Well be sure to listen to future episodes of the Engage podcast, sponsored by GuideSpark. We’ll tackle topics like how to build employee loyalty and showcase the many benefits of your workplace.
This podcast is brought to you by Engage, the online destination designed specifically to help HR leaders stay on top of emerging HR trends and best practices. By aggregating news and opinions from HR thought leaders and other sources, Engage gives you a quick and easy way to stay current on the rapidly changing world of HR.