Continuing our series, it's Jen's turn to share her feelings on work culture. Jen is a master of making good things great. She takes ideas and visions of what could be and finds ways to make them a reality. She's our bubbly queen of improvement, you could say. See what she has to say about work culture:
When I say culture, what do you think of?
I think of the interactions and customs of groups of people. Those groups of people can be comprised of a neighborhood, a company, a department, a team, colleagues, friends, family and so on.
What does a company’s work culture entail?
I have worked in environments where trust has been a natural instinct between people, departments and leadership, and I have worked in environments where trust has been whittled away by arrogance, insecurity, in-fighting and losing sight of your values. For me, a company’s work culture is determined by the level of trust that people have for one another.
Joel Peterson, Chairman of JetBlue Airways, wrote a series of LinkedIn posts that describe why trust is fundamental to his view of leadership and I found that this series eloquently described what a good work culture entails. The first in the series highlights the importance of integrity.
What does a good work culture mean to you?
A good work culture is the make or break of a team and greatly influences product and company success. This means a lot to me as a teammate and as a product manager. A dysfunctional work culture will inhibit our ability to discover, create and enhance products that will delight our customers.
This statement from All In How the Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton sums it up well: “Good leaders drive culture. Good cultures attract good people who understand where they fit and that they can grow.”
What has always been important to you when job-hunting?
The challenge of job-hunting is finding an opportunity to work in an environment that is the confluence of your preferred work culture, your values, your talents and a leadership team that entrusts you.
There are two important things to note here:
1. You need to know yourself and your preferred work culture.
Once you’ve done that,
2. What are you going to ask during your interview to determine:
- If you’ve found a culture match and
- If your new leadership team actively shapes a culture of trust
Knowing your preferred work culture is vital, but I would guess that many people have not really thought about it too much and then get in a situation where they are not happy. I worked with Christine Stiller, an executive career coach, to help discover my preferences and found that I thrive in a creative and collaborative culture where people are open and friendly and there is an emphasis on teamwork; plus, the environment is dynamic, entrepreneurial and creative where individual initiative and freedoms are embraced.
What is your favorite thing about going to work?
The thing that I tell everyone that asks me how it is going at AgencyBloc is that I love working with people that are humble and modest even though they are fantastically talented. There’s no dysfunctional drama around whose idea is best or turmoil due to unhealthy competition or passive-aggressive behavior.
Working in a team of self-aware, confident individuals focused on a mutual goal is my favorite thing about coming to work. It makes all the difference!
What is the most memorable moment thus far that has happened at AB?
I knew the moment that I interviewed with Adam and Cory that I wanted to be a part of AgencyBloc. They are humble, effective, and honest. They are remarkably smart and creative, and they are adaptive leaders. I felt valued immediately.
A great work culture allows you to be free to bring your courageous art to work every day.
So, what do you think?
What do you think makes a great work culture? What makes you like coming to work every day? Let us know in the comments!