How and why things get done and how people feel – discovering the culture of a company

It’s often hard to describe what the culture of a company is. There are a plethora of definitions if one searches the vast terrains of the internet. It’s the one thing that every fresh college graduate or newbie joining a particularly large corporation is “inducted” into, through a set of carefully crafted onboarding and assimilation procedures.

In reality, it takes a while to figure out.

“We take pride in our work culture”, is a phrase one often hears in organizations. How does one experience culture? From prior experience, many of us know that work culture is what makes our work worth our while, pushes the business needle, and binds people at work via an invisible thread.

Being asked to write about the culture of a place is a challenge, particularly for a newbie like me. I was thus glad to be part of a team. It turned out that all of us in the team were newbies! So, we put our heads together and thought about how we wanted to write this piece. We concluded that what people think and feel about their work, and how they get things done would tell us about their work culture.

So, we got talking to others who had been with Clearly Blue Digital (henceforth referred to as CB in this post). Here is what we learnt about work at CB.

‘I love my work’, translated to:

  • I feel a sense of purpose and accomplishment through the work I do.
  • I feel connected to everyone at work. CB feels like an extended family.
  • I am relaxed while working.
  • My work is recognized and I feel valued.

‘I am living my dream’, said some. When asked how, they said:

  • I wanted to be a writer. I came here with no career experience in writing, and I created pieces that delighted our customer.
  • I wanted to be the best HR professional. I manage HR for CB and I do it very well.
  • I took a break of 10 years and was nervous to come back to work. My days now are filled with engaging interactions and work.
  • After 20 years of working in the Insurance industry and wondering what to do next, I found my place at CB.

‘I am learning all the time’, quite a few people said.

  • The sheer diversity of work is astounding. Content, animation, video editing, e-learning, research, writing and more!
  • Design has infinite faces; I see it taking shape each day at work.
  • There is innovation all around. In methods, tools, techniques…in everything. And I can brainstorm, collaborate and carry my ideas to fruition with all round support.
  • Fluidity in roles means we step into people’s shoes without stepping on their toes! So we learn new things all the time.
  • I know I don’t have to “attach” myself to a role and that opens my mind to learning.
  • Creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking are our default ways of working. Did someone say HOTs [aka Higher Order Thinking Skills]?

‘I know people have my back’, is something everyone at CB feels.

  • I see how my colleagues mobilize themselves to collectively deliver solutions when the going gets tough.
  • Trust, respect and teamwork trump everything else.
  • When I make a mistake I know I won’t be called out on it in front of anyone else. Instead I get one-on-one feedback and am encouraged to ask for help when needed.
  • When I am in rough weather at home or at work, I know I will be supported.

‘I feel empowered, included and safe’, said everyone.

  • My educational qualifications or prior work experience do not dictate what I work on. If I can add value to something, I get to work on it.
  • I relish how I get to work with a spirit of partnership rather than as an employee.
  • My voice is heard, as are my opinions and questions. Without judgement, restraint or prejudice.
  • I have the space to find my answers and I am supported when I need help.
  • I am treated with fairness and respect and I am trusted.
  • I feel safe to say I am NOT OK.

If these aren’t representative of culture, what else is? And that’s how we discovered what the culture of this company is. If you want to know more, please visit Clearly Blue and read about why it’s a great place to work.

CB has grown from a 3-person company in 2016 to a 30-person company today. It may grow more; it may stay the same. Today, CB thrives because of its people. Its people thrive because of its culture.

Pic Courtesy: Photo by Mehdi Sepehri on Unsplash

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