Having a voice is important for company culture—specifically, creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and comfortable. It’s difficult to start a new job when you feel like people are breathing down your neck and micromanaging, or when you feel like you’re going to get into trouble for speaking up. This isn’t going to be conducive to success—employees won’t grow and things will get political.
So, for employees to be effective and work well together, they need to feel comfortable with their management team, feel like they can speak candidly, and even goof around a little bit.
Here are a few things we do at Fundwise to encourage friendships and open communication:
1. We sing “Happy Birthday”—just the other day we smushed everyone into a tiny office and sang “Happy Birthday” to one of our employees. It’s fun to mix things up a little by having everyone take a quick break, get together, kick off their shoes, and have some fun.
2. We have a Spikeball tournament every Friday. There’s nothing better than a little friendly competition.
3. We have a ping pong table where employees can take a break between calls—cliche for a tech company, I know, but you can’t deny it’s a good time!
4. We bought scooters for people to get around our office faster. It adds another element of fun to the office!
5. We started having Monday lunch meetings with the whole team. We talk about goals for the upcoming week, tell funny stories, share announcements, and check progress within each department.
These small things culminate into a culture where people feel relaxed and comfortable with where they’re working and who they’re working with. While each employee has deadlines and potential challenges, they’re more motivated and confident to meet these when they have good work relationships and the opportunity to communicate openly. Of course, there does need to be that organization and hierarchy to establish clear responsibilities and expectations. If everyone has a good work ethic, then it works out.