With another Christmas now behind us, and a busy year of business ahead of us, we’re now in the calm days in between. During these days, we spend time with our families, reflect and begin goal setting for the future.
As you reflect and plan, it’s important to take our learnings from the Holiday season and apply them to improve our company cultures to cultivate a spirit of authenticity, the same spirit that makes Christmas such a special time of year.
These are three lessons I've learned when it comes to creating a great company culture.
1. Incorporate More Experiences
I’ve learned that as more and more commercial gifts are available to us, and the more our society speeds up, the spirit of Christmas comes from the experiences rather than the gifts. It sounds like the age old lesson that The Grinch and Cindy Lou Who taught us when we were young, but when you get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the season, it can be easier and frankly more convenient to give a gift versus plan a quality-time-oriented gathering. Still, the best memories come from time with friends and family sipping eggnog by the fire, laughing and sharing memories. You remember the memories more than the gifts, year over year.
In the New Year, try incorporating more experiences into your workplace calendar, and in return you will have more team-oriented memories. Togetherness and bonding doesn’t only have to be during the Holidays. Whether you set out to encourage more collaboration, team building, or community outreach (a goal of Mojo’s), there is a wealth of ideas out there to get you started.
If you’re on the hunt to give back to your community as a group like we are, check out Volunteermatch.org! This site does a great job aggregating all of the not-for-profit organizations and can help you find different events going on around your community. You can sort by city, organizations, outreach type, cause type, event dates and more! This can help you discover organizations that truly need your support, and that align with causes closest to your organization’s heart.
If it’s creative team building you’re in need of, be sure to check out fun activities in your area that check the following requirements: 1) Conducive to your size group 2) Involvement-centric 3) FUN! Mojo Fan Favorites include game night and Escape Rooms. Team building can be free and at the office, or out and about. Search for some great local activity-centric establishments near you, or dig into some creative lists that have been put together by others, like this blog put together from Wryke: 12 Awesome Team Building Ideas Your Team Won’t Hate.
If you want to start small, you can simply upgrade your communication and collaboration by opening up your workspace, adding a town hall or staff meeting (if you don’t have one) and sign-up for Slack. Add some fun traditions to the agenda like a Kudos session, hand out funny awards to celebrate one another, or order Table Topics from Amazon and kick off your time together with a round-robin Q&A session.
2. Personalization is Powerful
Another great reminder we get from the season of giving is to add personalization and thoughtfulness to the mix. Nothing feels better than putting thought into your gift giving. In fact, in my family, we’ve started a “Make It Only” gift giving tradition. We draw names months before December, and we put a ton of thought into what we create for our recipient. There’s a supply maximum (dollars), and your gift must be hand-crafted. I’ve given custom branded Jenga, and received a hand painted sign for my wall and an industrial lamp made from a mason jar and plumbers pipe! They’re the most special pieces around my house to this day.
At Mojo, we love to celebrate milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries. It’s easy to check the boxes: decorate the desk, get a card from the team, give a little gift and have a little cake. But in the New Year, we want to sprinkle more personalization into our gifts and celebrations. We’ve put together a Team Member Profile so that we can start to personalize these celebrations, and really get to know one another a little bit better after each and every milestone.
Want to deploy the same idea? Create a simple Survey Monkey survey and ask your team members to answer discovery questions like:
“What’s your favorite dessert?”
“What’s your favorite hobby?”
“What’s your biggest fear?”
“Who’s your celebrity crush?”
This helps us have a profile to pull from and really understand how we can tailor our milestone celebrations to each personality. This sure did lead to creating Mojo’s first ever Pizza Birthday Cake!
Our Marketing Automation Specialist, Daniel, surprised us last week with little treats on our desks. We all noticed that our gifts were personalized to our interests, and it made the gift feel so special and thoughtful. It’s affirmation that your work family listens, cares and really knows who you are.
3. Embrace the Organic
Now I’m not talking the grass-fed, preservative-free organic, but if your resolution is to eat healthier, go for it! I’m talking about embracing the organic ideas that surface from your team to create a unique company culture. The Christmas season seems busier than in years past, however, it’s always the organic ideas our friends and the kiddos around us have that really make up the fabric of our traditions.
At Mojo, we say that we’re all creative, analytical and eccentric, and I’d say our team has tons of eccentric ideas! Encourage your team to make the culture their own. Put a Culture Committee together, and arm your team with the autonomy in 2018 to spread out the responsibility and add diversity to your workplace. Encourage the committee to gather ideas in an evergreen fashion with a focus on community, fun, recognition, onboarding, learning and development. Create a suggestion box (physical or virtual) that the Culture Committee can monitor to keep your culture fresh, and your team identity unique to the people that make up your organization.
Craving more ideas and best practices around culture and leadership? Check out SmallGiants.org, our favorite purpose-driven organization for business, to join a community of like-minded business leaders and entrepreneurs alike.