Children dream about growing up to be athletes, astronauts, dancers, artists, veterinarians, and firefighters, but many will find work that our youth couldn’t have imagined. Flying in a spaceship, a daily dose of adorable animals and a big truck with sirens become things of the past. Except they don’t. We carry with us notions about working at a place that captures our imaginations and presents possibilities through relevant cultural features.
And some workplaces can be jarring. The experience can be so far from our childhood conceptions that we immediately plan an exit. The fluorescent lights, the lack of consideration from managers, and the smothering of creativity quickly become a gray and gloomy struggle.
But there are companies that do meet our expectations, even if we aren’t traveling through space. A company’s culture is built into its workspace and work processes. Adopt these five cultural features to bridge the gap between a mundane workplace and one that meets the expectations of our childhood imaginations.
Few things are more destructive to a workplace culture than when managers behave as if their associates exist in another dimension. Great companies employ managers who encourage individual growth. The payoff is a team-oriented environment where the employee’s development provides a sense of possibility. Possibility is inspiration.
Opportunities to connect outside of work are more than just a good time. A great work culture reverberates when people care deeply about the company. Spending time together outside of work lets employees know that they are seen as people instead of figures on an overhead budget. Additionally, connecting with coworkers off the clock is a great way to build camaraderie and float ideas.
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