In his book, “Delivering Happiness,” Tony Hsieh—the CEO of Zappos—writes that Zappos only hires people they want to hang out with. And it works. The company culture at Zappos is legendary. Are you looking to create a legendary office culture, too? Okay, maybe you’re just looking to create a positive office culture. Either way, we have some tips for you
- Show your team that you care.
Here at Thriveworks Counseling, we truly care about our team. If someone has a problem at work or elsewhere, we do everything we can to help. We respect our employees and we value their contributions. We are honest, we strive to be generous, and we even remember birthdays as well as employment anniversaries! We do what we can to show that we care, which includes little gifts on special days, shout outs on social media, and so much more.
- Build community.
Counseling can be an isolating profession. Yes, you spend the majority of your day (every day) with people, but the focus is 100% on the client. Hence, many private practice counselors decide to work with us because they’re looking for colleagues to connect with in between sessions. Do what you can to build your community and get everyone socializing.
- Come up with an honorable mission.
Mission affects company culture. If you’re serious about your mission, your team will be serious about it, too. A company should always be able to answer, “Why are we doing what we’re doing?” And your team should ask themselves this question constantly. If your employees believe the company is truly dedicated to a valuable mission, you have the genesis of a strong culture.
- Empower your employees to grow.
People need to feel that they’re making progress in their careers. With clinical staff, up until recently we would hire great counselors, pay them well, and help them to fill their caseloads. However, once their caseloads were full, there was little opportunity for progress. How demoralizing after two, three or five years to still be doing the same work, with the same title, without any path to something more? In response, we developed something we have never seen before in the industry: 10 levels of Counselor Rank. Now, clinical staff, through tenure and excellent performance, can be promoted 10 times, from “Fellow,” to “Senior,” to “Master” clinician, and each level brings with it greater compensation, including perks ranging from paid education to paid vacations.
- Welcome trial and error.
Creating culture isn’t an easy feat. There’s no ONE right way to go about it. As you begin to build your company’s culture, some things you try will work, and some things will likely flop. However, even when you miss the mark, your team will notice your efforts and see that you care, and that is perhaps the most important culture-building ingredient.