Company Culture and Life at Work.

Company Culture is a general term that businesses use to describe common values within their organization. When hiring new employees, employers mention these values along with the work environment as reasons to work for them. Organisations that prioritize their culture are perceived as forward thinking and progressive employers. Within the marketplace, they are considered as stable companies, worth doing business with.

What is the definition of company culture?

It can’t just be the presence of a foosball table in the office, can it? When employees go for drinks after work, is that a sign of company culture? Everything else being equal, there is nothing wrong with some fun at work and even more fun after work.

Painting contractors are not any different. By holding annual barbeques, Christmas parties and other social gatherings they promote a fun environment and camaraderie within a company. Such fun activities are heralded in social media as proof of company culture and organizational health. The perceived conclusion is that this is a good place to work.

Of course culture is more than that. It’s about how a company deals with the customer, the workers and the community at large. Furthermore it’s about how the employees themselves deal with each other and how they take care of the  customer. Policies are more effective when everyone is behind them. A healthy painting culture is one of learning, support, accountability and hard work. It starts from the first interview, the hiring process and training all the way through the entire career path.

Allbright is a Painting Contractor in the Greater Los Angeles Areas. They are well regarded by the rest of us in the industry as having captured the essence of a healthy company culture. They are known for promoting the Paint-It-Forward program  throughout North America and coining the term “Painting Happiness”. From their website:

“Painting Happiness” is our entire philosophy in a nutshell, and it colors just about every aspect of what we do and how we do it. To us,  “Painting Happiness” reminds us that we should take joy and pride in our work, in making you (our client) happy, and take every opportunity to go the extra mile. This focus also drives our massive community outreach initiatives, from local charity painting projects to watching our Paint-It-Forward program spread across the nation”.

What is wrong with perks and fun at work?

There is nothing wrong with fun at work. Since we spend the majority of our awake time working, having fun at the same time is important. The problem with fun and games is when they are used to cover up for less than ideal working conditions. In other words, fun without substance is not fun at all and workers can see that.

What kind of  games and surprises do companies use to improve morale?

Office activities like ping pong and foosball
Catered lunches
Pizza delivered to the job site
Company outings such as bowling, axe throwing sport events
Birthday parties and summer picnics

Unfortunately, some managers, confuse culture with perks. When products and services are subpar, the term culture is overused . When employees are underpaid, the importance of culture is elevated.

What do employees really want? As a minimum, good pay, benefits, performance bonuses, time off and flexible schedule.

company culture or just fun

Company Culture at Ecopainting

We know that people that have fun at work are more creative. They are more productive and work better with others. Looking at our painters and how they get along with each other shows us the following:

  • They have fun working with each other.
  • They are friends at work and some are friends after work.
  • They are supportive and learn from each other.
  • We have a low turnover, way below the industry standard.
  • Anyone can work in anyone, at anytime. Skill is the only differentiating factor.

We know that fun and games are pointless if they are not matched by substance. A career path, respect, good pay, benefits, bonuses etc, they are all important to our painters. In fact, they are the fundamentals of company culture. Culture for us is not an excuse for low pay and bad working conditions. We think that the following are prerequisites for a healthy company environment:

  • The right management must be at the core of the company culture.
  • A formal mission statement must be accompanied with everyday values.
  • Practicing company values makes us feel good about our job.
  • It starts with hiring and retaining the right painters and office staff.
  • The employees themselves can create company culture.
  • The employees have the power to weed out the wrong people that do not fit in.

The following three statements capture our core values:

  • We are positive participants and contributors in our community.
  • Our Painters matter and they are the driving force behind our company.
  • We work hard to minimize any harm our business causes to the environment.

How we treat each other and the customer, how we work and how we behave at work is  company culture. This applies to all departments, positions and skill levels.

Paint giveaway event at Ecopainting
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