What makes a “good” company culture? This is a question that has been asked by countless business owners and employees, especially over the last several years, as that phrase has become somewhat of a buzzword in corporate lingo. Building something special through company culture, however, goes much deeper at Power Automedia.
Many people may have a sense of company culture, but have a hard time defining it. If you spend some time researching the term, you will find a lot of different perspectives. Company culture has been described as “just the way we do things,” the “personality” of the company, the company mindset, or — one of my favorites — what we do when we think nobody is looking. The truth is that culture is different at every company, so these definitions can all be true.
There is often a belief that the culture of a company is just something that exists on its own, independently of the team — that one can just arrive and participate, and it will always be what it is. At Power Automedia, we disagree. We look at culture as a constantly evolving entity that is shaped daily by the team that we work with.
Culture doesn’t create itself, but it will certainly exist at every company. For culture to be healthy, it has to be nurtured by the entire company, from top leadership down to the newest team member. And, as such, we have to be thoughtful about the kind of culture we want to foster and create.
How can we balance all of the things we want to embody? How can we be fun and take our jobs seriously at the same time? How can we create a culture of hard work and determination, while still respecting the needs of an employee’s life outside of our office walls?
We start by using our “why” as the guiding light to creating a healthy company culture, one that is not based off of the idea of perfection, but rather the things that we believe are vital to our expression of why we do what we do:
- We believe in the magic of the automobile
- We believe in helping people achieve their dreams
- We believe in building something special
Additionally, we work to stay connected with each other. We have a party planning committee (PPC) with members from every department working together to plan several monthly activities, both inside the office and out. It can be as silly as a ‘90s dress-up day, or an event that takes advanced planning, such as our annual Power Automedia Olympics.
As I am writing this, our team is getting ready to participate at an indoor karting facility for a healthy dose of competition and go-kart races. We do these activities, not to just create a place to work that is “fun,” but because we genuinely believe that on top of the hard work, fun is vital to relationships, communication, and family spirit.
And, fun isn’t the only way we are connecting. Whether it is an annual call for input and ideas from all employees, to our monthly newsletters and All Hands Meetings, we consistently look for opportunities to ensure that all Power Automedia employees play a role in the culture, and the roadmap of our company.
Power Automedia is only as strong as its people, and their investments in our message. At our most recent annual State of the Company Address (a day-long session of presentations about company performance, future planning, and yes, fun) James Lawrence, company president, summed up our philosophy very well:
What is Power Automedia Really About:
- A group of people that share a common interest
- That want to build an amazing place to work
- The kind of place we want to work at
- Where we can do great things
And that is truly why Power Automedia exists, and how we all feel, collectively, about building something special.