Employee Engagement, Workplace Culture, defining purpose, be true to your weird self, community, human resources
I am going to be honest, prior to applying for a job here I had never heard of Delivering Happiness. I know, gasp! The job description alone had me so intrigued that I ordered the book from Amazon immediately after applying. By the time I heard back from Human Resource, I was nearly halfway done with the book because the contents were so relatable and struck so many nerves within. Today as I near my 10 month anniversary with the team I wanted to share 10 things I have learned over these past 10 months.
1. Core values are real.
I am not saying they are real as in they are proudly displayed on a wall and there’s a checkmark in the box that says do we have core values? In the past I did work in a culture where we recited our core values at the beginning of each meeting but that was it. That was the only time they were ever mentioned. The "real" I am referring to here is that core values mean something.
At DH, our core values are so ingrained in everything we do and say – it has become part of our everyday conversation. In fact, it’s not uncommon to receive a shout out from a coworker where they say "hey way to rock CV#9." Which also means you will need to know what CV#9 is to understand what you did! In fact, they have become so much a part of my own conversation that I find myself quoting our core values to external third parties in meetings and my family!
Never have I met people so passionate about what they are doing and why they are doing it. Indeed a team of world changers work here and not only that, but there is genuine excitement about the impact our work is making on the global community.
Part of onboarding is to discover your personal core values and higher purpose, so it’s not just a job here. It’s about finding your passion and living out your purpose daily.
Who doesn’t get excited about that? That’s much better than being on a hamster wheel doing the same thing day after day without any real higher purpose other than a paycheck.
3. No power tripping.
I have worked in places in the past where there is a lot of power tripping and title seeking, you know you got to climb that ladder. The culture at DH is so different; it’s a flat organization where everyone has value. So go ahead and take down the corporate ladder!
In fact, I have never worked for a CEO that treats everyone equally crucial to the team as a whole and values everyone’s opinions with much respect. It is genuinely a refreshing workplace culture. Humility feels embedded into the DNA of Winkey [more on that later!].
It is a big deal here, but it flows from a place of communicating with honesty and respect [CV#3]! That’s hard to come by! I remember not too long after I started working here a situation arose that could have resulted in lots of tension and conflict, but it didn’t. I was shocked at the response of the team and how cohesive everyone came together to make a decision that was best for the team. This is a much better way to work together as a team than to allow tensions to simmer until they boil over into conflict.
5. Connection and Community.
They care about what’s going on with you personally not just professionally.
True connection and community live here.
I have never been a part of a company that starts their weekly meeting with a check-in to see how you are doing personally before discussing anything professionally. When a newbie joined our team, she was equally shocked and delighted at how are weekly meetings start, so it's not just me!
6. Teamwork makes the dream work.
It’s not a cliche it actually does. We are a small tiger team, but everyone is so eager to jump in and help when needed. It’s not uncommon when you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed to hear a fellow team member ask how they can support you or help you with that. We are a remote team across many time zones, and yet this team will jump in to help where and when they can.
Since we are a remote team, there is some freedom in how, when, and where you do your work. But, there is also autonomy over what that final product looks like and how it gets done. To know your team trusts you to take on the project, own it, create it, and roll it out - that is a fantastic feeling.
I never flourished in a highly micromanaged environment and always craved autonomy in my work. This is a massive thing for me, and I know I am not alone.
What kind of culture do you flourish within?
If you have seen our logo [which you have since you are reading this post] then you have witnessed Winkey. What I have learned though is that Winkey is more than just a cool graphic. It is an atmosphere of being humble and grateful, happiness mixed with a little weirdness, a real passion for creating better workplace cultures everywhere, a willingness to help, a desire to inspire and be inspired by you, and build community.
I have heard the expression used, "what would Winkey do?" I think it’s just a great way to quickly bring us back to why we are doing it and what action we can take individually to keep us on the path of our overall goals as a team.
9. In Person All Hands Meeting [AHM].
DH knows how to do an AHM – work hard, play hard. We hit the ground running and only stopped for short breaks throughout the day. The amount of ground that was covered, ideas that sprung forth, and level of team commitment still surprises me! The flow surrounding these days were so well planned out and time constraints were honored. You could definitely tell this wasn’t their first rodeo!
The last day we agreed to our role and what action item we would take ownership on. I honestly thought this was going to be a hard one and would result in a lot of to-do’s going unassigned. But, that’s not what happened. This engaged team voluntarily signed up for all the open to do’s from the hard-hitting week in just 2 hours – this still shocks me!
10. Be true to your [weird] self.
OK, this is my favorite! No cookie cutter or carbon copy team here. We don’t all wear beige [sorry, if that's your favorite color]! Everyone is so different and encouraged to be their true selves. That was one of the biggest attractions to me from the very beginning and one that still excites me 10 months later.
I have always marched to my own drum, and it was so refreshing to join a culture where that was not only embraced but encouraged. Trying to create a team where everyone acts just alike is so stifling to the creative juices that produce the most innovative thoughts. Don’t stifle your team!
What are 2-3 things you have discovered about your organization? [Tell us in the comments!]
How can DH help your team create a happier workplace?