For countless hard-working Americans, it’s fair to assume that the time spent at work comes close to the time spent at home. However, it’s often said that if you find something that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. That’s where company culture comes into play. By taking the time to create and maintain a welcoming work environment, a company positions its employees to better accomplish their tasks and look forward to coming to the office.
Company culture highlights what personality your office is going to take on. The best example of this is Google. Google is in the business of creativity as its business model began and continues to be revolutionary. For this reason, you’ll never find two Google offices that look the same. The employees are guaranteed a fun filled workday through literal playgrounds, working lounges, and entire cafes inside the office. At Education at Work, company culture is critically important because of the behavior of millennials. The millennial workforce responds especially well to a community encouraged work environment and collaboration; Education at Work has been able to transform the nature of a standard contact center to fit the needs of a college student workforce. This transformation, and good company culture in general, accomplishes three important goals within the office
New employees can struggle as they try to get the hang of who they should (and should not) approach with questions. They may fear that there are invisible boundaries standing in their way as they attempt to successfully assimilate into their new community. A successful company culture is able to communicate to these employees who, what, when, where, and how to contact the right and wrong person, early on.
Education at Work has an implied open door policy throughout all departments that invites students to seek guidance from any department. The Career Engagement office caters directly to the college students by helping them with anything from building their resumes to finding jobs post-graduation. The organization as a whole resembles a college campus environment that encourages employees to treat each other like resources for professional success.
When company culture is well defined, employees know what to expect and what’s expected of them. Apart from the basic company regulations and policies, social expectations are often harder to establish within the office. The best work environments are those that foster respect and community bonding experiences that are not limited to the working day. It’s easier for employees to love their jobs when co-workers become friends, and bosses become advisors.
The human resources department at Education at Work hosts regular events for students where they bond over free food and games. Also, every department has a budget set aside to reward and to bring employees together in team building activities. These efforts enhance the college campus environment, and cultivate lasting relationships between co-workers.
When employees know where the boundaries lie and what’s expected of them, it’s easier to provide an employment experience that will encourage loyalty and referrals. Keeping employees happy through successful company culture not only keeps current team members happy, but sparks a traveling conversation amongst past and future employees. Having a team that feels comfortable coming to work every day can give even the most mundane of tasks a more approachable appeal.
Students and staff at Education at Work are encouraged to dress comfortably, grab a snack from the convenient store, sit back in the lounge during breaks, and talk between tasks as if they were spending their day on campus. Music plays in the background to add some rhythm to the office. Ultimately, employees are encouraged to feel relaxed and ready for a productive shift.
The reality is that no two businesses are exactly the same. Now more than ever, millennials look to company culture as an important factor in where they seek employment because they want to find a company that values what they value. This is the opportunity for companies to emphasize their distinct personalities and use them as selling points to attract employees, customers, and clients. The most important thing to remember is that company culture is shaped by the workforce and when the workforce changes, the culture should always follow suit.
About Education at Work
Education at work is a non-profit organization helping college students graduate with less debt by partnering with clients to address their customer service needs through a high-achieving, millennial workforce. Learn more at www.education-at-work.org.
About Laura Forero
Laura Forero is currently a junior at Xavier University studying Public Relations and Advertising. She enjoys reading, writing, and following a good PR crisis unfold in modern day media. Connect with her on LinkedIn.