The Personal Effects of Company Culture

I think we can all freely admit that when it comes right down to it, it’s the little things in life that count. In a marriage, it’s offering to cook breakfast and doing the dishes afterward without having to be asked. In a friendship, it’s taking your bestie ice cream when they need to cry it out. In a company, it’s taking notice of the people who keep the machine moving and making them feel occasionally, very special.

I first came to The Newsletter Pro in March. It was the day before my birthday (a Friday), and while I had just started my job three days before, I was invited to attend the monthly company event, set to take place that day. Still feeling a little nervous and a super new, I agreed, and that evening, my then-fiance and I drove over to the arcade in town to join my brand-new co-workers for our first social event.

Naturally, just to make it even more awkward, we were practically the first ones there. Still not knowing anyone, we walked over to the long table with the reserved sign on it, and who should be the only person yet in attendance? The company CEO. Now, for any of you who know Shaun to any degree, you should know how friendly and welcoming of a guy he is. On my first day of work, he came over to my desk just to introduce himself and ask me how I was settling in. Nevertheless, even when you’ve been introduced, it’s always a little nerve-wracking to sit next to the person who has your future in his hands.

As it turned out, it was okay. We chatted for a little while until people started arriving, and then, when everyone had ordered their dinner, our Human Resources Manager, Val, brought out another surprise: birthday gifts! Despite the fact that I’d only been working here less than a week, the company was acknowledging me as part of the group. It may sound silly or sappy, but with two small bags of my favorite candies and a gift card to my favorite coffee shop, I felt like they were making a tiny investment in me. I felt wanted and valued, and I was hardly on the payroll.

Fast forward two months. My now-husband and I were nearing the big day and I was just about to head off on vacation for the next three weeks. Naturally, my co-workers knew I was getting married. A couple of them we coming to the ceremony and nearly all, by that time, had asked me for details on colors and things. Nevertheless, no one was more surprised than me when toward the end of my last day before vacation, everyone was called to the center of the floor for a brief announcement, and I was presented with a beautiful card and wedding gift. My co-workers had even gone through the trouble of finding out where we were registered, to buy us a gift they knew we would want. The card, too, was signed by everyone and full of well-wishes. It was such an incredibly sweet gesture, and it made me excited to come back to work after my honeymoon. I even came into the office a day earlier than planned, just because I missed my co-workers (as it turned out, they missed me, too–see the sign above–and my department head, Myranda, even brought in homemade treats the next day).

Here at The Newsletter Pro, we do monthly birthday celebrations with cake, but every team member gets a card (signed by the whole office) and a small birthday gift on their actual birthday. And yes, we sing, too. This is part of our company culture, and it’s this kind of care for our employees that keeps everyone here loving what they do. Sure, all of us have at least a fondness for the newsletters themselves, but it’s the camaraderie and the kindness of our co-workers that really seals the deal. Company culture is important. It’s what keeps your best employees where they are and encourages them to recruit their talented friends. Having a job you want to attend means turning out work you actually care about. I know I’ve been affected by the positive atmosphere of our company culture, and I’d hazard a guess to say that I’m not alone.

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