Plain work days from 9 until 5, boring work outfits you have to wear every day, the exact time for lunch breaks, strict hierarchical structure, bosses that count your hours and all the other boring stuff… Well, that is how it used to be. The rapid development of IT companies worldwide brought serious disruption to the workplace culture. Suddenly offices became colorful, employees started walking around in pajama-like clothing, began tailoring their working hours and even picking the location they want to work from. Work culture has always been evolving, but now it seems things have changed and they never looked better for employees!
People first, people first, people first.
Blah, blah, blah. If only we got a dollar every time we heard this sentence…right? People first is a great motto, but the problem is that some companies think having a PlayStation, a ping pong table, or even a bed in the office means putting people first. Those perks are great, but it is not just about them, there is much more.
What is workplace culture then? Well, it is the character and personality of your organization. It’s what makes your business unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes. Here at Atlantbh, we have an office with probably the best view in the city, unlimited vacation days (not a typo), extremely flexible working hours (you only have to show up for meetings), working from home whenever you want, healthy office snacks and a lot more. However, that is not what our culture is all about. It is really great, but the workplace culture is what stays after you take all of the stuff I just mentioned away. It is about people and what they do. People first, remember?
Share it like it’s hot.
Workplace culture has multiple benefits for your company. It enables your current employees to enjoy their work, which is very important, having in mind that they spend one-third of their day there. Good workplace culture will also present a company in a good light towards all potential employees out there. Yet, this is only if you create a story out of it and share it accordingly on the company’s social media.
Every social media has different characteristics and audiences, so companies tailor specific key messages for every one of them. When it comes to sharing workplace culture, it needs to be done on every social media platform that a company uses, but Instagram deserves a special place. It is mostly because of the type of content being shared on it (only photographs and videos), the Stories feature and a vibrant audience. So how exactly do you share culture on Instagram?
Take care of your new cookies.
The first few days are crucial for new employees because that is when they get their first impression of the company, learn how stuff works and get to know their coworkers. To allow them to express themselves right after they arrive, we created our #PartOfMe posts in which new employees take a picture with an object that is important for them and explain how it inspired and motivated them throughout their career.
The very first day at work is reserved for a team lunch, where new employees have the chance to get to know their team over an informal lunch chat.
Competition is good.
All teams in Atlantbh work on different projects, and even help each other when some problem occurs. They are constantly working together and pulling the strings in the same direction, but we know that a bunch of successful, skilful and ambitious programmers like to compete a lot. To create stronger bonds in teams and to spice things up, we organized a “Decorate the Office” competition during the holiday season in December. Every team had to decorate their part of the office, being as creative as possible, while our jury a.k.a. the Talent & Marketing Team chose the winning team.
When it’s not the holiday season we organize internal competitions differently. This summer during a First Thursday gathering (every first Thursday of the month we hangout after work and do something fun) we organized a table tennis tournament where Atlanters got the chance to compete individually against each other.
Remember where you come from.
If you live in the Balkans or in Eastern Europe, then you are very familiar with doily-knitting grandmas and memes about them putting their artwork into everything they can. Well, we decided to make our own version of it…
Go to an island and make your own boat.
Team-buildings are always special. Memories from a team-building event tend to be narrated over and over again in the company throughout the year. 2019 was special for us because for the first time ever we went to another country together. We visited some heavenly islands in the Adriatic Sea – near Bol and Hvar. Although the islands are truly perfect, it was not the best part. We bonded like never before by chilling next to the pool, late-night partying on the beach with music, enjoying sea food and of course playing games. Atlanters had a chance to show their creativity by building their own boats with limited resources and sailing them to capture the flag for their crew.
Everyone likes rewards.
Sometimes, circumstances require employees go the extra mile for the company. In our case, it varies from participation in a meetup event, being a mentor to an ABH Intern or some new Atlanter, to simply helping move chairs or replace water gallons in the office. Every one of these activities deserves a special praise so we came up with the “ABH Ticket to the Top” system, where Tickets are the office currency and Atlanters get a certain amount for every extra activity or for being helpful. At the end of the year, there is a special prize for the Atlanter who collects the most tickets. This year it was Kenan Klisura, our Lead Software Engineer. He took home a brand new iPhone, not bad.
Get them involved in your marketing campaigns for fun.
Looking for students for your workshop or hiring? Create an ad that combines your crazy idea with your employees. At Atlantbh we are always asking Atlanters to help us out with ads and those photo shootings are always the most fun. Ideas simply fly around, laughter is always loud and that is the environment that your prospects find appealing (at least our hiring results say so).
Support your community for good.
When business is going well and everyone is happy with the work they’re doing, you should help your community as much as you can because sharing is caring, right? It reminds you that there are things greater than work and it simply makes you happy that you can help the young sportsman attend the world karate championship, a primary school get new computers, students with limited resources get financial aid or help some daily care center get a new playground.
Don’t always kiss and tell.
Finally, not everything needs to be shared. Some things need to stay private, exclusive only to your employees because not everyone needs to know what “stativa” means in your Slack conversations, or who at the company has which nickname.
This is all great, but how do you keep your culture alive and consistent? Well, hiring is the key. That is why we value cultural fit as much as technical knowledge during the hiring process. So it doesn’t matter if you are Linus Torvalds. If you don’t fit in, you will have to look for a job elsewhere. Sorry, Linus.