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What Star Wars Teaches Us About Company Culture
Have you purchased your tickets for The Force Awakens yet? There was an internal struggle as to whether or not Friday should be considered a holiday, but Michael and Matt ended up losing that particular argument.
First time for everything.
With Star Wars on the brain this week, it got us thinking about our company culture. In far too many work environments, employees show up to work, do their thing for eight hours, clock out and dread the alarm going off the next morning. This hamster wheel may work in the short-term but in the larger scope, it is a recipe for burnout, which is the path to the Dark Side. Burnout leads to fear. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering (#StarWars) which leads to inefficiency in the office. The end result is a team of employees that don’t care about client satisfaction or company goals. Bottom line? When company culture suffers, your business will as well.
Here at Caledon Virtual, we are intentional about building an office culture that wins. From weekly leadership sessions to our Spotify playlist, our team can count on a work atmosphere that is both challenging and uplifting. The result? Employees look forward to their work because they are supported and inspired. Clients are satisfied because they see results.
Here are a few ways we’ve found that Vader, Luke, Han, and the rest of the gang have taught us about building an amazing company culture.
Fostering a Company Culture that Wins:
Customize Your Team – The Rebels stand no chance by going toe-to-toe with the Empire. They have to customize their strategies to the personnel and equipment they have. When you customize your team, hiring becomes less of a résumé overview and more of a first date experience with the team. It’s incredibly important to assess the personality, temperament, and work habits of a new hire to make sure they will blend well with your rock-star team. You really can’t afford a loose cannon in your smooth operation.
Mix It Up – Even with impending doom lurking around each corner, our team of Rebels takes the time to build their relationships. Because of those relationships, the Rebel force has trust in Luke when he leaves to go fight Vader…even if they don’t understand why. Working in a high stress fast paced environment becomes unbearable without chances to let loose a little and an understanding of each other. Create occasional blocks of time when you can have fun with your team. Whether that’s an impromptu mid-day karaoke fest or an after-work happy hour, making even the smallest effort will bring in a huge return for your office culture.
Give Back – When you think about it, Yoda is really giving back to his community as he teaches Luke. Sure, it’s to save the galaxy, but Yoda isn’t keeping his talents to himself. What better way to highlight the bigger picture than to get your team involved in a larger community cause? Find ways to participate in volunteer efforts in your area and include everyone in the office. The local food bank, Meals on Wheels, or Big Brothers Big Sisters are great places to start.
Constant Communication – Luke uses the Force to destroy the Death Star at the end of A New Hope. However, he’s in constant communication with his team about what’s going on while that’s happening. Be up front about office changes, new policies, and large projects that are coming down the pipe. Be clear about what you expect as an employer and give your team an opportunity to provide feedback. An employee who feels included will dedicate themselves at a higher level than one who feels like an uninformed subordinate.
Meet Needs – Han and Leia’s team are able to take down the shield in Return of the Jedi because they’re able to get each person (being?) the tools they need to accomplish the mission. The Ewoks know their planet (moon?) better than anyone else and support the rest of the strike team to get the job done. Think about what you can do to support each team member. Do they need better lighting? Pull out that ladder. Training on a new responsibility? Schedule an online course. Though you are the one who cuts the paychecks, you need to have a servant mentality to foster success.
What aspect of company culture do you want to focus on in 2016? Leave us a note below so we can chat!