How do we identify, describe, and improve what is underneath the surface once all the boxes are ticked?
After stumbling upon a list specifying ten signs of an awesome company culture, I couldn’t help thinking about all the unwritten and less easy-to-describe signs bound to be found underneath the surface. Because, in a way, checking items off a list is similar to developing policies and regulations; it doesn’t really create any impact unless we put conscious effort into following them.
We don’t mean to blow our own horn, but yes, at Enact:
• We all enjoy full flexibility to work from home and pretty much decide our own working hours, making it possible to combine our professional commitments with our private life.
• It’s ok to participate in a meeting online while taking a walk in the sun or emptying your dishwasher at home, as long as your focus is on the meeting.
• Picking up kids from school or preschool is considered more important than any meeting, so we mark those days clearly in our “open to all” calendars, for everybody to know and respect.
• We have a chat channel called failures and f-ups to remind us that everybody can make mistakes and that we shouldn’t be afraid of sharing and learning from them.
• We choose our projects based on our company values while also considering individual and personal values. If any Enact employee feels uncomfortable supporting a project, they have the right to decline.
• We have collective agreements for all Swedish employees which makes us unique among our fellow specialised boutique consultancies.
• Compared to some boutique agencies* in Sweden, Enact stands out when it comes to staff expenditure per employee by spending around 10 % more than our competitors.
But does all this automatically mean Enact has a good work culture? Well, while all the above-mentioned is true, my answer would still be: I don’t think so. Even if good policies may be a prerequisite to creating a healthy culture, a great result is far from a given. Culture is (wo)man-made, in essence, the opposite to anything automatically granted.
If the policies put in place by the management, were enough, creating a great work culture would be a no-brainer. But they’re not. While rules and conditions are static, people’s expectations and desires are not. That’s why those working under the company rules, also need the power to influence them. And here is where we may be getting closer to identifying some of the most important components of a good culture – the dynamics between the people and the freedom to influence the interpretations of what is okay and what is not.
I can’t say that we have a great work culture. I am the Head of People, it’s not for me to say. But what I can say is that if you are interested in finding out for yourself, you are more than welcome to send us a spontaneous job application. Perhaps you are the one to take our culture to the next level? Click here to see our open recruitment positions.