What is culture? Too often it’s the subject of corporate bragging, incessant white noise about how these businesses are appearing to tick all the right boxes. Token vocal LGBTQIA employee, tick. A woman in a leadership position, tick. It becomes a story.
“Look at us! Look at how progressive we are! Our culture is so diverse!” peddles the PR department.
Do they realise that they’re advertising the fact they’re missing the point? The best places to work see employees as people, entities within a team, not just assets which need to look different. It’s welcoming to show up to an accepting environment at work every day – it gives people the opportunity to prosper.
This aligned mind-set attracts people who share favourable values, which leads to an organically diversified group, which reinforces culture. Quotas are not needed. Culture need not be forced. It happens organically.
Since culture is shared, everyone within the group contributes to it. Some may contribute more than others, when someone leaves or joins your team, your culture changes. And that’s OK – culture is dynamic. That’s why choosing the right people is so important.
We’re a pretty eclectic bunch here at razzbri. Jess is our kind-hearted hunter gatherer, Alaina loves good banter while tucking into caramel slice, Ash pipes up in ALL topics of conversation and gives shit to anyone that will bite, and Truds is our visionary, dropping in gems of knowledge when they’re most needed. Jodi, who recently joined us to lend her marketing expertise, can usually be found enforcing her Selena Gomez playlist or adopting child’s pose at random. I was a chef for nine years and am now a seasoned recruiter and the General Manager of razzbri. We’re all pretty different, but we find each other interesting. If something’s not cool, it’s talked about, but other than that we’re just up for a good time when we come to work.
For example, every week we have Razzbri Kitchen Rules, or RKR. If you tweet about it, you must use the #RKR hashtag or else Jodi will have words with you. In RKR, a member of the team is nominated to cook a meal for the razzbri crew. They must use only the facilities available in the office. Sometimes the result of this test of creativity has been muffins, but then other times, filete a la brasa.
Culture can happen naturally if you let it; it’s through relaxed situations where you can make jokes over beers where strong workplace relationships are formed. These relationships are the foundation of a high-performance team. Building this groundwork takes time, but you can always tell if a company has mastered their culture by how happy their employees are. Happiness is both a result and a contributing cause.
When you’re sitting across the interview table judging the pros and cons of your next challenge, make a conscious effort to understand the culture you are going into. The shoe has to fit!