You’ve been around the block and you know a thing or two about culture in the workplace, but do you know what culture hacking is? If not, no worries! We’ve got you covered.
So, what is culture hacking? Culture hacking is making small incremental changes in an organization over time to improve your cultural health.
Let’s put it into perspective… If a cultural overhaul is like changing out the entire engine in your car, then a culture hack is like fine-tuning an engine. You may not always see the importance in fine-tuning your engine because many cars will run okay without. If you want to win the race, though, you’re going to want your engine in tip-top shape. Also, if you go too long without fine-tuning your engine, you might run into some extreme problems and end up needing a new engine or other costly repairs.
How to Get Rolling with Cultural Hacks
Unlike a traditional cultural change, culture hacks aren’t a complete overhaul of a culture. However, they can still have a huge effect. For example, a cultural hack could be as simple as implementing a weekly tradition. Maybe that’s a team lunch every Friday or that people are out of the office by 2 pm on Fridays or that there are doughnuts the first Monday of the month. Another unique example of a hack could be changing the lighting in your office. It gives the space a different feel, changing the everyday look employees are used to, keeping them engaged. You can get creative here!
They’re small and quite effortless, but culture hacks create a culture of collaboration and bonding amongst teams. The idea here is to focus on simplicity if you’re not wanting a complete overhaul. This will keep your employees engaged and happy.
Why it Works
The secret behind cultural hacks is that they are just small changes.
Small changes can be quickly and efficiently implemented. Although the changes are small, they are significant enough to be fun and different.
You might be asking; how do I even know where to start? Or I have no idea what my employees want…
Have you thought about asking them?
Asking employees for feedback is a great way to not only show them they’re valued and that their opinion matters, but it prevents you from making a change that isn’t received well. An easy way to gauge opinions of your employees is to send out a quick survey. Surveys are cheap, effective, and allow you to gather large amounts of data in little to no time at all.
The Right Hack for Your Organization
When considering putting a culture hack into motion, keep in mind a few things:
- Your culture hack should reflect the needs of your team, whether that be increased collaboration, engagement, or something else.
- A good culture hack should be a small change that can be quickly implemented. You will be able to tell very quickly how your employees respond to the hack. If your employees aren’t as receptive as you envisioned, simply apologize, and then try something else! Not every team is the same and nobody has all the answers, so some hacks may be a hit or miss.
- Is the hack practical? Think logistically about office space, time, resources, etcetera. An office hack isn’t a complete overhaul, it’s all about fine-tuning.
- Most importantly, you should have a good understanding of your organization’s current culture and it’s needs. This will help you hack your culture the right way!