Does Your Company Have a Soul?

Company Culture, Opinions Posted May 7, 2015 by Liza Vilnits

As we grow up and mature into adults we—whether intentionally or not—establish criteria for using various aspects of our lives as opportunities to become happier. When you’re looking for a new apartment, buying a car, or even dating in hopes of “finding the one,” you have your personal “must-haves.” The same goes when looking for a new job.

After attending Social Media Breakfast (SMB#40) recently, I got to thinking about company culture. The event, entitled “Marketing to the Full Customer Experience,” began as a discussion about determining who your customer is and how to successful build a relationship and market to their needs. After hearing from our last speaker, former Forrester analyst and founder of WOBS LLC Josh Bernoff, the discussion shifted to a focus on the companies themselves, and what it is that makes them successful. Josh felt that in the grand scheme of things, success for businesses was tied to one vital quality: having a soul.

balanceAs we sat in the beautiful Brightcove headquarters, overlooking the water and sharing the posh lounge space with a foosball and ping pong table, it made me think about how important company culture has become. Similar to our new world of rapidly growing technology and innovation, companies have begun to be more imaginative in creating environments that inspire and excite employees. For me, that is correlated to having a soul.

Google slideGoogle’s offices have enough slides in them that Business Insider was able to rank them from best to worst! Although it sounds silly, those hunks of plastic have a deep meaning to them; they represent Google’s desire to set a tone of innovation, collaboration and fun! Something tells me our parents didn’t experience that kind of work culture in their first, second or third job out of school. The paradigm has shifted, just as it has in so many other forms of life.

Although having a fun and inspiring work culture is now on many “must-have” job lists, we still need to remain grounded and appreciative. Not all companies have the funds or resources to build a playground in their lobby, but that doesn’t mean a culture can’t be created. If you’re passionate about what you do and where you do it, find like-minded colleagues and start the conversation on your own. Soon enough your company might have a soul too.