We all know how important company culture is. It’s the collective personality of the organization. But here’s the thing, No matter how intentional we are defining a variety of its elements like our company’s mission statement, values, ethics, work environment, expectations and goals; we always have to keep our eye on the prize because as the company grows, adjusts and evolves so does our culture.
A strong, positive company culture not only includes things like flexible schedules, fun incentives or encouraging work/life balance; it is also the small conversations and other interactions we have with each other. When we have great everyday experiences, we feel more positive and happier. On the other hand, if someone is having a bad day it too can impact the overall mood on the floor.
As a part of our Health and Wellness program, UCS sponsors Lunch and Learn presentations that bring us all together in an informal setting to collaborate, learn and, of course, eat! We’ve hosted a number of these sessions and have had outside professionals come in to educate us on a variety of subjects like stress management, good nutrition, the importance of exercise and cyber security.
Last Friday we asked Emily Hummel CEAP (Certified Employee Assistance Professional) to join us for our latest Lunch and Learn about company culture.
It could not have gone better. Even though the sessions were relatively short, she was able to give us all great tips. We learned:
- how to be more intentional in our communications
- how to act in a manner that creates an inclusive work environment
- how to take responsibility for our actions
- to appreciate the value of diverse opinions
- to avoid negativity in our daily interactions by not getting caught up in gossip or complaining
- how to guard against acting thoughtlessly based on assumptions of another’s intent
We really had a lot of fun with the last one. We played a game called, What Do You Really Mean? To play the game, each one of us was given a specific mood (which we kept to ourselves). Then, one at a time, we had to say a statement communicating the mood we were given. We could use body language, tone and drama if necessary, but could only say the words in the statement—no more or less.
What we found by playing is what you think you are putting out there isn’t always what people see. For example, feeling tired can easily come across as being bored. Big difference, right?! The mood I had to communicate was excited. I thought I had done a great job projecting excitement when I said my statement and was surprised when someone said they thought I was scared. We all took turns playing and more times than not, we had to guess more than once to come up with the correct mood. It was really eye opening.
Hummel is not only a CEAP but also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She shared that the same tips we learned here could also be used at home in our personal relationships.
I think the most important take-away from the session is that we all play an important role in the company’s culture and we all need to do our part to maintain a healthy, positive culture.
A. Alliance Collection Agency, Inc. is a full service, licensed accounts receivable management and debt collection agency providing highly effective, customized one on one management and recovery solutions for our business partners. Founded in northern Illinois in 2005, we have been proudly improving the bottom-line on behalf of our business partners in and around Chicagoland for over 15 years.