My Five Favorite Fascinating Finds: Must Reads for March

March 26, 2015

Culture, culture, culture. Everyone is talking about it, including me in several recent posts. As Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, says, “For individuals, character is destiny. For organizations, culture is destiny.” In my experience, this is absolutely true. And, in Zappos’ experience, too, eh?


This month, I thought I’d extend the conversation with a selection of finds that explore the different elements of a good culture. Read on to see what I’ve uncovered!

  1. Part of a good culture is the rewarding relationships your employees have with one another. According to Gallup (whose expertise we used to build our Employee Engagement Survey), the number one determining factor in job satisfaction is whether or not your employees have a best friend at work. The article “Do You Have a BFF at the Office?” explores the benefits of workplace best friendships. And, this bonus article I wrote for RecogNation awhile back gives you some ideas on how to help foster those friendships.    
  1. Nothing kills the potential for a good culture like bad policies. Especially those that are unreasonable (really, I have to wear pantyhose?) or not in line with the times (really, I have to wear pantyhose?!). This article examines “The Eight Most Evil HR Policies" and why you should reconsider them if they’re in your handbook. Many of them focus on trusting your employees and treating them like adults. After all, if you don’t or can’t, you have much bigger issues, right?
  1. While a lot of culture depends on leadership, it’s actually the people on the ground who are living it out. If you encourage and empower your employees to have thoughtful, kind, and meaningful interactions with one another, you can pretty much set the tone and then get out of the way. I saw this article yesterday “7 Ways to Make Someone's Day, Every Day in the Workplace” and it made me smile. His ideas are so simple, it makes you want to get up and do something right away. And, guess what? I did!
  1. So far, we’ve read that friendship is the most important factor in good culture. Then we started thinking it’s really kindness that is. Now, in this article, we’re hearing “Why Respect in the Workplace is the Secret Ingredient.” Which is it? Well, much like a meal, unless you’re eating a single, raw potato (I hope you aren’t) culture is made up of several elements. One isn’t necessarily more important than the other, but if one of them is missing, you’ll probably notice. That said, if you start with respect, most likely the rest will follow naturally.
  1. “Can you Change your Company Culture?” Good question to ask now, considering I’ve been telling you all along that you can. And, what a relief that the author of this article agrees! He offers some practical steps for getting there, with the biggest a-ha moment for me being his discussion of propellers, rudders, and anchors. (Reminds me a lot of our article on A, B, & C Players, actually.) Check it out—it’s a smart approach!

That wraps up March for me! If February’s Fascinating Finds post snuck past you, you can read it here. See you next month!

Allison is currently living out the elaborate fantasy she described to her now-former staff and colleagues in early 2001. With a hearty dose of courage and absolutely no plan of action, she abruptly left her middle-management job to become a writer—and today she is doing just that in her role as Baudville's Senior Content Writer. She's here to tell you everything she's learned in her 20-years+ professional life, plus a lot more. She's wordy like that!

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