Mytech Culture Experience April 2015

Is happiness at work the responsibility of Management and HR? If we are treated well by our boss and HR takes care of our benefits, isn't that enough to ensure folks are happy? Sure, when you onboard a new hire, you have to ensure they have understand their compensation and what will be expected of them. But what about beyond onboarding and into the work experience? We have a culture committee tasked with engagement and visibility of our four pillars of Communication, Happiness, Accountability, and Improvement. This article will focus on our pillar of Happiness.

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give"
- Winston Churchill

We always hear the axiom that "happy employees are productive employees" and that is what our purpose is under this pillar. What do we do to create a happy culture? In addition to our end of month barbecues, Thursday treats, and dog-day Fridays, our Annual Banquet, monthly and quarterly meetings, we also have our peer recognition Hertz Donut (we love the word play on this). Under the Happiness pillar, we have our supporting values of provide more value than we receive in payment, create fun and a little weirdness, and embrace uniqueness. Just last month, five individuals received Hertz Donuts for "Provide more value than we receive in payment." Kudos to Sarah Hertz, La Shanda Jotham, Christiine Rewey, Abby Minor, and Ashlee Stewart for embracing this value every day!

"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be."
- Maya Angelou

Do you have fun at work? I guess that depends on what you mean by fun. If employees are truly engaged in what they are passionate about, I imagine they would say they enjoy their work. But, is the culture fun? I mentioned the barbecues, weekly treats and such, but how do we see it in our daily culture? Are employees engaged with each other? People are happier when they know each other. What is our icebreaker to get folks to open up? We have our Zoo Culture; a profile identifier as people are Lions, Monkeys, Camels and Turtles! We have so much fun talking about this at work and it has done amazing things for our other pillar of communication!

We started our journey on culture several years ago, fundamentally adopting ideas and principles from the much publicized company, Zappos.com. CEO Tony Hsieh truly inspired with his so-called "social experiment" and created a customer service company unlike any other. Mytech staff attended the Zappos experience at the company headquarters and the beginning of our culture experiment began.

"I thought about how easily we are all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately happiness is really just about having fun."
-Tony Hsieh

How do we know if our employees are happy? Just ask any of them.

The principles that we are committed to are represented by four pillars, each supported by several illuminating values.

I. Communication

  • Communicate directly and openly.
  • Foster a culture of praise.
  • Care and share.

II. Happiness

  • Provide more value than we receive in payment.
  • Create fun and a little weirdness.
  • Embrace uniqueness.

III. Accountability

  • Make decisions with our honor and integrity intact.
  • Practice both confidence and humility.
  • Set the next person up for success.

IV. Improvement

  • Innovate through creativity.
  • Never stop learning.
  • Reject mediocrity.