Does your company care about culture?

Successful organizations care about maintaining and improving their organizational culture. Strong organizational culture means company has some customs, values, unwritten rules and basically a specific way of doing things, that all employees respect and believe in. All that helps them work better, increases their motivation, productivity, loyalty and pulls them to work better for achieving organization goals which they identify as their own.

Opposite of strong is weak organizational culture, and it has a negative impact on employees motivation, productivity and overall organization success. When I started working at Inchoo HQ, it was obvious that a growing business as it is, has it’s own specific marks and customs that design its culture. Although you can determine and analyze a lot of levels that make some organization’s culture and measure its strength from many different aspects, here are a few characteristics that I saw as creators of organizational culture at Inchoo.

1. Green

Every business chooses its home color. But you need to ask yourself is it really representing your work and everyone involved in it? Well, Inchoo actually is green. Green means a desire to be safe but it also means growth. Green is calm but powerful, energetic but balanced. Everyone is very specific and different, but together in some particular way – they are developing and pursuing ideas to grow, while constantly finding a new common balance. Green is of course all around company interior.

2. Coffee

Developers drink a lot of coffee – that’s something everyone knows. 😉 It’s once said that behind every successful man or woman is a substantial amount of coffee. It might be true, but at Inchoo when you go for (another) cup of coffee, you are reaching for a dose of energy, thinking through what you’re working on, or increasing an idea flow with your colleagues. It’s not just the coffee as a drink, it’s coffee as a common habit that brings working level up.

3. Breaks and free time

How do you spend that 15 minutes, or 30 when you have a break from your work? It’s a good culture when you do something relaxing, but what’s making you more close as colleagues and what will have a good impact on your work. Inchooers usually go to near by coffee place, each having its own sort of break-drink 🙂 Most of the time, it is the time voluntarily invested in something related to work.

4. Knowledge Sharing

This is something most companies fear – sharing what you know with others, even customers. But if you really care about quality and delivering your promises to your customers, you have nothing to be afraid of, but to be happy if you serve your customers and public by sharing what you’ve learned. Knowledge sharing is as effective to your customers, as it brings back a great feedback to you and your organization reputation and perspective. The most important way of knowledge sharing in Inchoo is of course via our blog.

5. Inchooers as comic characters

Inchooers have their own comic characters. Well, not all of them since there are some brand new faces on the team, but that is something very original, specific and unique that differs Inchooers and empowers their identity. You can see Inchooers’ characters all over the blog, Facebook fan page and on a lot of other material in the firm.

6. Jokes and fun stuff

Do you encourage laughing and making jokes on team meetings? Well you should, since it’s important for organizational culture to have their internal stuff going on and talking about. You don’t want your employees be that strict and making barriers to their creativity. What you want is a good atmosphere that brings lightning in dealing with projects, customers, problems and decision making. At Inchoo you can see just that.

7. Team Building

Do you do team building and why you do it? Because it’s trendy, you heard it’s a good practice or do you actually see the benefits of team activities within your organization? Can you, as employee or team leader make an atmosphere that almost every coffee break or pizza in the office brings team together? And do you plan team building as something with purpose that people want to be a part of? Inchoo has its Inchoo Learning Days to have fun and share knowledge. Along with that, if you are a good team leader you might be able to help creating a good atmosphere so every coffee break, pizza or burek in the office does a bit of team empowering.

8. Values

This is an important, if not a crucial part of organizational culture. What do you and your employees rely on when problems come, when people change and industries face crisis?  Value system comes from a leader but it needs to be spread throughout your company so you can survive, grow and make better everyday decisions. Projects come and go, but values keep all factors of your business together. Inchoo started to work on a project that brings other IT companies from Osijek area together, focused on delivering values to entire community (Osijek Software City). You see, values are what your company relies on: it means getting back to its fundamental reasons of existence and it will make sure it actually does a good job through a longer period of time.

Do you think about improving your organizational culture so your work quality and productivity increases? How do you do that?

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  1. I have been working with Magento for nearly 3 years and Inchoo is an usual place I visit everyday. You are a great company and have a great culture. I love comics in your site, must meet the guy did this once day 🙂
    Now I am building my own company, actually a small team at this time but hope we will get bigger. We already had our football team and go camping every month.
    I would like to learn from you guys to create our own culture 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hey @Sanja nice post!

    To be honest all written above is true! I had the unique chance to visit Inchoo’s office ( house ) and my memories are still fresh. So let me go through on some of the points mentioned by YOU:

    1. Green – yes you can see green almost everywhere at Inchoo’s house … green chairs, some green grass at the backyard and even some green grass at one biggest rooms of the house ( I guess, that it’s the meetings room )

    2. Coffee – ohh yeah! Personally I was 2 times “intoxicated” drinking coffee in Inchoo’s office. There is a coffee machine at the second floor near to the small balcony. As I remember Tomas Novoselic really cares about the coffee and the fact the coffee machine needs water sometimes 😉 To conclude this point … if someday you have a chance to visit Inchoo’s house, be careful with the coffee, it’s strong!

    3. Breaks and free time – I felt, that the second office of the Inchooers is the nearest coffee place. It’s only 30 meters far from their office and I guess, that they are some of the respectable clients of “Crna Malina”.

    4. Do you remember the balcony from point 2. There is the place where Inchooer’s go to smoke and I guess that there is the place where they share some know how. Personally I had the chance to hear some interesting facts.

    5. Inchooers as comic characters – Nice conception! May be you recognize Tomas and Tony at the header of this page. Tony is pushing the cart and Tomas is giving the start of the first attack 🙂 One of the benefits is that they are recognizable in the community. So Inchooers … don’t be surprised, when you travel around the world and unknown person greet you ( you are famous )

    6. Jokes and fun stuff – They like the jokes. I even recognized some Croatian ( similar to Bulgarian ) phrases, but they are untranslatable in English 🙂

    7. Team Building – NA

    8. Values – I met the Inchooers and they are cool. They look dedicated to the company and their work, they are responsive and well organize. According to me this is really important for the progress and the health off any organization … so they are going in the right direction.

    @Milen I guess, that you are from Bulgaria? Will be pleasure for me, if I have a chance to meet for a beer another local Magento developers.

    @Tomislav @Sanja @Lyssandro Cheers!

    P.S. Please put some labels inside the house … I guess, that @Lyssandro already have problems with finding the right directions.

    1. @Tsvetan – nice to see your memories are still fresh… 🙂

      We’d love to greet more of you guys here in Osijek, so just let us know when you’re coming… and if you stay long enough, we’ll take you through all 8 steps of initiation into becoming an Inchooer 😉

  3. Hi Sanja, great post! 🙂 Just arrived here and became a huge fan of burek. Seems like coffee does play a huge role here – which ins’t different from Australia. However, the Burek is something that is missing down under. 🙂

  4. Sanja, thanks for sharing interesting stuff from Inchoo’s kitchen.
    Below is our culture: 🙂
    1) Colors – Yellow/Blue – do not know what they mean, and do not care at all 😉
    2) Coffee – here in our office we prefer beer and it gives better results 😉
    3) Jokes – we mainly use some famous customer phrases related to Magento or other projects, which are quite funny from developer’s point of view (we do not have designers on place).
    4) Team building – as we are small team, our team building activities are watching football matches together, drinking beers, and just relaxing and sharing some personal and other stuff but not speaking about projects.
    5) Meetings – we strongly believe that the meetings are simply loss of time if there is nothing important to be said. Usually our meetings are held withing 20-30 minutes just to summarize the stuff and set the goals until the next one. Everything lasting for more than an hour is a pure loss of time and an alternative way to spend the working time.

    Anyone else ?! 🙂

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