At work, culture matters.

The great thing we noticed at SXSW this year is that there were more and more panels focused on this important part of business. As you build or contribute to creating a grey culture at your workplace, consider some of these gems that we heard at SXSW Interactive (notes in italics are our own).

On a ‘grey’ workplace:

“Allowing play at work was initially tough for me but the work got done and people were happier.” @jennselke
Do you trust that your employees will be responsible at work?

“If you don’t set aside time for things you are passionate about, life will fill in the gaps.” @massrelevance
Are you factoring in time for your employee’s passion projects in your workplace?

“We don’t have to pay people to be passionate, we need to allow them the time to act on what fulfills them.” @IntuitInc
Are you encouraging your employees to bring their whole self to work?

“Age diversity means everyone’s a teacher and everyone’s a student.” @jennselke
Are you seeing challenges as opportunities? 

On retention:

“People join companies they believe in, but often quit bc of managers” @jennselke
Are you thinking about management when you think about culture?

“In our father’s days, the worker was concerned with job retention.  Now it’s the employers who are concerned with talent retention.” @massrelevance
Have you created an environment where employee’s talents are utilized, developed and complemented?

“People who focus on their strengths at work are more engaged and happier overall.” @jennselke
Do your job functions allow people to focus on what they’re good at?

“You can’t motivate people, you can only create a context in which people are motivated.” @massrelevance

“If Millennials don’t get their needs met in their workplace, they will quit.” @jennselke
Do you know what the needs of your employees (Millennials or not) are?

On hiring:

“To build the right culture at work, you have to hire at scale and fire faster. But do right by the people you let go.” @garyvee
Are you committed to company culture at every step?

On allowing employees to work remotely:

Define your workplace culture first, then the location of where you’re working becomes a small part of a big picture. @AskDotCom
There is no one right answer - what works for your company and your company’s goals?

These panelists brought up great food for thought. Follow their lead and think about what you can do in your own company. No need to reinvent the wheel, look at what others have successfully implemented in their work environment and try it in your own. (Check out some tips from MKG in the Related Posts section to the right!)

What other things do you consider when creating culture?

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