Here’s how we built a thriving culture using 5 simple tips:
Yesterday, my team members were busy doing the work they do the best when suddenly a thought crossed my mind. While looking at my team enjoying, and may I say, chilling at the office, I realized that for us, it’s not just a duty to come to our workplace. It is, in fact, a privilege to work together. The entire credit for this goes to the positive workplace culture we have collaboratively created at Third Rock Techkno. Since we spend a huge part of our day at the office, we have carefully developed a culture where productivity and happiness increase while stress levels decrease by the day. There is no such thing as an ideal work culture. Every organization has to figure out what works best for them. Here is how we, at Third Rock Techkno, created a workplace culture that inspires and makes us happy every day:
1. We identified our core values as a team
No company culture can thrive without having the company’s core values as its building blocks. Before we started our operations, my co-founder Krunal Shah and I dedicated a lot of time in laying down the values that would guide every aspect of our organization. Those values also significantly shaped our hiring process. After we had a team on-board, we revisited our values with the contribution of each team member. These values then became the backbone of our company culture. Now, every team member has a clear idea of what the company stands for. It helps them evaluate their own contribution to the overall positivity at the workplace.
2. We made our workplace inclusive
Like most other tech firms, we too were at a stage when most of our employees were males. We sensed this and immediately revamped our recruitment process to ensure more diversity in our workplace. Our approach towards inclusion is not just about having an equal number of males and females at our organization. Our company culture welcomes people from all genders and lets them decide how they want to be addressed. Moreover, people are different in various ways and have different personalities. Per my experience, the most important step towards creating a positive workplace culture is to ensure that the differences in individuals are respected. We have made our workplace a safe space for all our team members. They can express themselves without any fear of being judged or mocked and that makes them feel valued at work.
3. We made respectful behaviour our priority
Conducting anonymous surveys every three months is a routine procedure at Third Rock Techkno. One of our initial surveys was about what quality the employees wanted their leaders to possess. 87% of the employees responded that they wanted their leaders to treat them with respect and dignity. We then had an open discourse on how important it is for everyone to feel positive about one another. We all reflected on our behaviours and admitted that sometimes, the work pressure did lead to hurtful criticism and venting. Stress can really get the best of anyone. So we decided to always be conscious of our behaviours and not make ourselves or others suffer because of the pressure of our work or for any other reason.
We realized the key to being kind towards others was to first be gentle towards ourselves. People in leadership roles took the onus for this and started practising conscious kindness towards everyone at the office, no matter how harsh the situation is. Our leaders don’t blame employees for the mistakes they make. Instead, they bring the shortcoming to the individual’s attention and help them find solutions for the same. This shift in our leadership has worked miraculously in making our workplace positive, kind and caring. I am so proud of the team we have become now. Even the smallest acts of kindness have contributed so much to everyone’s wellbeing. In fact, the kindness at our workplace acts as a buffer during the periods of stress. Despite the pressure to meet deadlines, everyone leaves the office with a smile and a sense of satisfaction.
4. We created a feedback culture
Clear communication is a skill that not everyone in the tech industry is equipped with. It’s extremely important for everyone to understand the actual significance of feedback so that things don’t turn ugly at the workplace. I believe that an integral part of setting up an effective feedback system in any organization should be to train employees on giving and receiving feedback. This is a ritual at our workplace whenever we have new hires. Moreover, we haven’t confined the feedback system to performance review meetings. Our weekly team meetings end with suggestions from the team members about how things can be improved. This helps us all be on the same page regarding every aspect of our organizational culture.
For employees who hesitate in sharing negative feedback, we have set up a suggestion box where they can leave their feedback anonymously. The leaders acknowledge these suggestions openly to make the employees feel heard. We collectively and actively work towards coming up with the right solutions so every employee’s pain points are addressed. Having such a feedback mechanism has enormously helped us increase the retention rates by making our workplace culture positive.
5. We embraced flexible work-life balance
What is the point of being a tech company if we can’t leverage technology for making our team’s lives easier? Third Rock Techkno puts great emphasis on work-life balance and lets our team members define the right mix for themselves.They have different priorities and we practice structured flexibility to empower them to strike their own work-life balance.
With so many communication and project management tools available now, the need for physical presence has been minimized. We provide our team with options like working remotely and condensed work week so that they can adjust their work hours to meet their other responsibilities. They don’t have to worry about reaching the office late or leaving for the day early as long as they meet the deadlines. Apart from adding to employees’ job satisfaction, this has contributed massively to imbibing a sense of belongingness in our team. The employees feel positive about the faith that we put in them regarding the completion of their tasks and it encourages them to take personal accountability for their work. Of course, nothing boosts the productivity of an organization than happy, well-adjusted employees who feel like a part of the family at their workplaces.
In essence, clarity, inclusion, kindness, and flexibility are the four pillars of our positive workplace culture. Of course, playfulness and transparency are a part of all of these components without which we wouldn’t enjoy and trust one another’s company. The workplace culture at Third Rock Techkno has helped me mould an efficient team of innovative professionals who are committed to developing world-class web and mobile apps. I’d love to showcase the amazing work my team has done so please have a look at our portfolio here and send them some kind words in the comments below.