By Brian Murray, Director of Talent and Culture
Likeable Media is an amazing place to work. If you don’t believe me, you can ask our employees who have consistently rated us as one of the best places to work in NYC. We believe that culture is not the creation of a single person. As Groupon founder, Andrew Mason, put it: “Hire great people and give them freedom to be awesome.” This philosophy greatly influences our creative work, our client service, and our culture. We have introduced many inspiring and innovative ideas over the years, but here are three things we have done recently with an explanation of why they worked.
This spring, our culture forum introduced a weekly contest where a different employee was responsible for creating a signature cocktail to share with the company. Our employees paid a “judging fee” that was ultimately saved for a cash prize. We gave the “guest bartender” a set budget to use toward the purchase of the supplies needed (some spent it on higher end booze while others on fancy drinkware). Each drink was judged on a scale of 1 to 5 for creativity, presentation, and taste with a possible high score of 15. Each Friday during the summer we ended the week with a group drink and toast. What better way to start a summer Friday?
We paid out about $300 to first and second place with a booby prize of a cocktail book going to last place.
Why It Worked
This was an employee driven competition (our team loves to compete). It allowed anyone to participate and certainly had a social tie in! Also, what team doesn’t love a good cocktail?
No company is perfect. None. Zero. If they say so, they are lying. The sink in our office has caused a fair amount of conversation because there were always unwashed cups/bowls/utensils appearing in it. We talked about it at team meetings, sent nice emails, sent stern emails, and put a camera over it in order to prevent a full sink of dirty dishes. We thought we tried everything until one day we decided to make it a challenge to get to 90 days without anything being left in the sink. We called it “#90”. We set up a white board inspired by the factory sign of “X number of days since an accident” and placed it over the sink. Someone also created a Twitter account that randomly tweets at employees from the profound to the nonsensical. As of 4:30 p.m. on September 21, 2016, we’ve officially reached 30 days. While there has been the occasional dish left in the sink, people have been more likely to pitch in to prevent the streak from being broken. We post a daily update of our progress in our internal Facebook group.
Why It Worked
I mentioned previously that our team is competitive. We don’t like to disappoint and if we have a common goal, we can do just about anything. While not the most serious of issues, it built a sense of urgency for the team and has become something to celebrate every day.
The Puzzle Table
One of our office common spaces is referred to as the “High Tops.” It is the first space you see when you enter and it is typically used for client brainstorms. In the middle, there is a large table surrounded by some chairs. Jaime Napier, our Finance & Culture Manager, came up with the idea of purchasing an emoji puzzle and putting it on the table. The only instructions we shared were, “Please don’t spend more than five minutes at a time here. Let others help!” The puzzle took about 36 real time hours to be completed and we’ve since done approximately 10 as a team.
Why It Worked
We spend a lot of time at our desks. We also find a lot of ways to unwind and distract ourselves. The puzzle seems to be the right amount of distraction without being over the top. The other nice thing we’ve seen is that different people that may not regularly interact were brought together at the table. It’s been great to see new conversations start.
What has your company done to create an amazing work environment? Let the Likeable Media team know in the comments!