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Collaborative Culture & The Bling Crosby Effect

One day back in early December when Christmas music in the office was officially deemed OK by one of the more vocal music enthusiasts, a late 70s rendition of “Little Drummer Boy” came streaming out of Adam Wormann’s Mac Book. His officemate, Garth De Blasio, was irritated by the fact that the song playing was not his beloved EDM, but a retro classic being performed by David Bowie and Bing Crosby.  Upon hearing the names of the singers, Mr. De Blasio exclaimed “WHO IS BLING CROSBY?” Within minutes, everyone in the office became aware of Garth’s hilarious mispronunciation, and thus, an intra-office joke was born.

The Bling Crosby Effect

What I have since dubbed “The Bling Crosby Effect” is a phenomenon that occurs when something so great happens; it goes down in the history of hilariousness here at the Points Group offices. It is also a solid indication of what makes us tick and what makes us a great team. Simply put, when everyone clicks, magic happens – and it shows in what we produce for our clients, whether it’s websites, creative pieces or marketing strategies. In fact, a 2012 study conducted by Deloitte has found that when employees are having fun, they work harder, stay longer, are better at making decisions and care more about the company. When it comes down to it, employee engagement is at the core of our success at Points.

Our company culture is not dictated nor prescribed in any manual; it’s evident in the countless ways we interact with each other every workday. Collaboration is embodied in everything we do, to the point that it has become second nature. In fact, when you read a job description for a position here at Points Group, one of the qualifications is that you must be “Excited about working with equal minded and driven people in a fun environment.”

In our offices, you’ll hear mutterings about someone earning a point for something funny they said, or a reference that they made in conversation (more on that another time). You’ll hear the click of checkers being stacked after someone says, “King me”, and Nerf darts come flying out of the IT office. If you catch us on a birthday, along with singing will be the pop of a champagne bottle and comments on the homemade birthday cake.

Lunch is rarely a solo event.

Office doors are open.

Dialog rather than emails are encouraged.

The people here genuinely want their coworkers to succeed, and they are just as likely to say yes to help you with a project as they are to say yes to a post work happy hour. Ideas and suggestions come from everyone because no one is afraid to speak up. The enthusiasm for the job is easy to notice, and learning new things is a top priority. With a collaborative culture, sharing knowledge is an every day occurrence. When you do something well, people take notice and congratulate you – and mean it!  At Points, achievement is recognized.

But what exactly is company culture?

I’ll let Frances Frei and Anne Morriss at Harvard Business Review explain:

“Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.”

Why should you care?

When a company’s culture is collaborative in nature, success is shared and ideas flow from the bottom up as much as from the top down. Employees are empowered, engaged and become the engines of their own success. There is no boredom here; there are no slackers here. There are only teammates accountable to each other.

When a positive company culture is in place and actually becomes an integral part of work life, employees are enthusiastic rather than disgruntled or bored. It is also an incentive; because people want to work where they know there is fun and balance.  Whether you notice it or not, your culture will begin to dictate the hiring process as you expand because you’ll be seeking like minded individuals, like we do here at Points Group. Prospects who fit into your office culture will also be more likely to stay with the company and will integrate into the team faster.

So how would you describe your company’s workplace culture? Is it clearly defined or a set of unwritten rules? Leave a comment and tell us about it.