There is a lot of talk these days about culture. Primarily of the negative kind, and plenty of that is centered in Silicon Valley. However, what we don’t see enough of are the ways in which companies can better work to foster a positive culture for their workers. Moreover, with the shift to a “blended” workforce, meaning in-house staffers and contract workers, it’s important to keep in mind how to keep the feel cohesive. If people are working under the same (often metaphorical) roof, for the same cause, they become folded into the fabric of that culture – whether a business acknowledges that or not. So, it’s up to us to define what that looks like for others to follow suit.
First, let’s examine the idea of culture. This will look different for every team, but it comes down to what unmeasurable dynamic you are able to create to motivate people to become the best versions of themselves. For some, this may include things like finding creative ways to celebrate successes. For us at Wonolo we ring a literal gong, in both our SF & Nashville HQs, when someone completes a large feat or small act of impact. Other more intangible things may include simply remembering to tell people they’ve done a great job. Additionally, it’s can often be more impactful if that person isn’t a direct report. Everyone wins when a company celebrates successes together and each individuals contributions along the way. Others see this and catch on.
It’s hard enough to establish a base-line culture for full-time workers, but what should you do when your workspace sometimes includes temporary workers, or independent contractors?
While your own company may struggle between finding the fine line between how to treat your in-house staff versus those who come in on a contract or on-demand basis, let me tell you: people are people. Sure there are some important distinctions among various types of workers, but cultivating culture is a benefit every company can provide.
So how will you know if you’re “doing it right”? You won’t. What you will be able to notice is the attitude in the air.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve gotten in an unnamed-ride-service, only to have the driver spend the whole time complaining about corporate. That is bad culture trickling down. I know this experience is not unique to me. In the end, this leaves riders having to catch the brunt of the impact and spreads a bad reputation of said company.
On the other hand, there is this example. We recently had a gig worker come in to bring our weekly team lunch. I was sure to offer them a drink and thank them for being there. The reply? “Oh, thank you so much I already have one. Everyone here is so nice!” For the record, that example is not an exception it’s the norm. but we all can equalize and normalize the treatment of people every chance we get.
In conclusion, treat others how you would want to be treated!