3 Things Successful Company Culture Can Accomplish

For countless hard-working Americans, it’s fair to assume that the time spent at work comes close to the time spent at home.

Published on

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

1. Boundaries

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.

2. Expectations

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.

3. Comfort

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.


Recap Of MOBILITY Live 2015: Do You Really Need A Smart Drill?

Do you really need a smarter drill, a more intelligent lawn sprinkler, and an app – for all of them – on your phone?

Published on

Do you really need a smarter drill, a more intelligent lawn sprinkler, a light bulb connected to the Internet, and an app – for all of them – on your phone?

Recently I had the good fortune of attending the 2015 Mobility LIVE event hosted by the Metro Atlanta Chamber in Atlanta, GA. The event was fabulous all the way around, from the keynote speakers to the breakout sessions to the great networking opportunities. Over 800 attendees from several industries gathered to discuss what’s current and what’s on the horizon in the world of the IoT, or “Internet of Things”. Many event sessions focused on mobility and security, several dealt with mobility and engagement, and a few brought to light the potential for mobility and its role in health and wellness.

On day two, the morning’s keynote featured Glenn Lurie of AT&T and Eddy Cue of Apple as they described the inception of the “smartphone era”. These two men were primarily responsible for bringing their companies together to launch the first generation iPhone on the AT&T mobile network. This session was a fascinating look back at how this iconic partnership came to shape the mobile smartphone world as we know it today.

As a student of psychology with a career focused on customer service, the most enjoyable moments of Mobility LIVE for me focused on the humanistic impact of mobile technology. I was most interested in how the rapid advancement of mobile technology and wicked cool interconnectedness of nearly every aspect of life will impact personal communication. How will the continued pursuits of “smart” mobility play out when I want to talk to you, or you to me? I had an opportunity to question many of the panelists and thought leaders in the various sessions and was encouraged by their responses. They commented on the importance of both human touch and human interaction, and really tapped these relationships as the driving force behind the rapid expansion of the mobile movement.

I believe mobile tech must remain human centric. Just as Glenn and Eddy, two humans who spearheaded the industry, communicated to me, a simple mobile user, we must keep communication and mobility human centered, and something that occurs between individuals. At its core, mobility is about how humans utilize technology to communicate more effectively and make life better. Though I’m not sure if I need a smarter drill, I know I want a hole in my wall. Do I need a lawn sprinkler that connects to the Internet when all I want is greener grass? It scares me to think someone smart enough could use my light bulb to send thousands of spam emails without my knowledge. However, this is very much the reality of our world and technology will continue to evolve at lightning speed. The notion of “get on board or get left behind” was heard loud and clear at Mobility LIVE by all who were in attendance. Nearly everyone was at the conference to ensure their companies would not be left behind.

Maybe in the future, Mobility LIVE will only be attended virtually via screenshare or mobile technology. I for one was happy to see that this time, it was a conference attended by 800 real human beings with their cell phones in hand. Although mobility offers tremendous value, I believe it can only enhance the human experience, and never truly replace the importance of face-to-face human interactions.

I look forward to continuing to explore the IoT and its continually evolving effect on human behavior.

About the Author: Tim Moore

Tim works at Education at Work as the Director of Mission Growth and Sales. He has extensive work experience in the customer service industry. To learn more about Tim’s background, you can click to visit his LinkedIn profile or engage with him directly on Twitter.

Education at Work Awards More Than $1 Million To Student Employees

EAW announced that its students have earned more than $1 million in tuition assistance since opening its doors in 2012.

Published on

Education at Work CEO and Founder, Dave Dougherty, cuts a celebratory cake with University of Cincinnati students Anjanisse Collins and LaTrese Green at the company’s #ThanksAMillion celebration.
Education at Work CEO and Founder, Dave Dougherty, cuts a celebratory cake with University of Cincinnati students Anjanisse Collins and LaTrese Green at the company’s #ThanksAMillion celebration.

Cincinnati – Education at Work announced today that its student employees have earned more than $1 million in tuition assistance since opening its doors in August of 2012. Education at Work is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping college students graduate with as little debt as possible. The organization provides part-time jobs in a contact center environment that pay hourly wages, in addition to providing tax-free tuition assistance based on grade point average. Student employees are eligible to receive up to $6,000 in tax-free funds per year which go directly toward their college tuition. Today, the amount of tuition assistance earned by students stands at $1,087,046.

CEO and founder Dave Dougherty reflects on the impact Education at Work has made since its founding in 2012.

“It is incredible to see how many students’ lives have been touched since August of 2012,” said CEO Dave Dougherty. “By working hard at EAW and in the classroom, the students are taking their futures into their own hands and graduating with significantly less debt because of the tuition assistance they are earning. I am grateful to all who make this possible: our clients, our university partners, our staff, and most of all our students, who are EAW’s shareholders.”

As customer service representatives, student employees build essential communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Students are encouraged to keep their grade point averages high, in order to maximize the amount of tuition assistance they earn.  Approximately 450 students from universities in Greater Cincinnati make up the organization’s workforce. These universities include Xavier University, the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Mt. Saint Joseph University, Northern Kentucky University, and others.

Scott Maurer, a University of Cincinnati student, has worked at Education at Work since July 2013 and has received $15,000 in tuition assistance. As a beneficiary, he had this to say:

“The tuition assistance program has been a motivation for me to maintain a high GPA, but most importantly it has kept me from going deep into debt,” said Scott Maurer. “That simple fact gives me security for the future, and I would love to see more college students feel the same way as I do.”

The organization plans to grow locally and expand nationally to fulfill its vision of benefiting 100,000 students annually by 2025.