How One Employee’s Passion Transformed a Common Space into a Culture Epicenter
Company culture, put simply, is the personality of your organization. It showcases what is unique about your team, provides insight into how your company conducts business, and highlights the characteristics your organization values most.
But company culture isn’t just about being loud and proud about who you are, it’s about positivity and productivity. And there’s data to back it up! According to Forbes, companies with strong cultures have experienced four times the revenue growth compared to their competitors.
Culture is more than inspirational posters and the occasional pizza party. The most successful company cultures don’t fall into the trappings of a ‘set it and forget it’ mentality, culture is continuously cultivated and ready to evolve with the needs of the team and your customers. Company culture should be woven into the fabric of your organization. But how? At massAV, we have six core values: Integrity, Passion, Teamwork, Precision, Growth, and Creativity. These values don’t just get a brief mention at a company meeting once a year. They are consistently part of the conversation, and more importantly, they are celebrated! Each month, massAV team members are encouraged to nominate one of their colleagues for our Core Values Reward Program. This program rewards individuals who set a positive cultural example and embody one of our Core Values.
A few weeks ago, these Core Value Embodiment Awards gave massAV Art Director Jason Courtemanche an idea:
What if we turned our staff kitchen into a communal environment embodying our core values?
Jason sat for an interview to share more about his storied career in live event production, how his idea for a redesigned communal kitchen went from idea to reality, and why he believes a set of core values is critical to company culture.
1. You’re the ‘Art Director’ for massAV, can you tell us a bit about what your role entails?
I oversee the graphics needs across all our core businesses as well as the massAV brand itself. I also work directly with clients to bring creative ideas to life for events, and then ensure the graphics at those events are consistent and delivered on cue.
2. How did your journey lead you to the world of event and media production?
I started my career in a traditional graphic design setting. Then, about a year into my job, I was recognized by a mentor for my calm demeanor under pressure and was asked to join the staging team working with graphics onsite. Having been a musician and actor, the feel of doing a live show was immediately appealing.
3. You were a driving force in bringing the massAV Core Values to life, why do you think they are so important?
Everybody needs direction. Core values help illustrate what your organization stands for. Having those values front and center and accessible makes finding that direction easier and keeps them top of mind. They are also an important external message to potential clients and employees.
4. The new kitchen looks fantastic, how did that idea come to fruition?
While eating lunch one day, I found myself staring at a blank white wall. I thought something needed to be done to make the space more engaging and started sketching ideas on a piece of paper. The leadership team was very receptive to the ideas and encouraged me to proceed.
5. Why are brand visuals so important to company culture?
Brand visuals are something that anyone can connect with. They give a personality to your organization, you see the visuals and they instantly help illustrate who the company is without having to investigate or research their meaning. At massAV we put a lot of time into building brand identity that is authentic to our culture. When applied consistently these visuals are reassuring and evoke positivity.
6. Was transforming the kitchen from a plain, white room into a core value-centric community space particularly challenging/expensive?
No. All it takes is a vision and a willingness to get to work making it happen. We went through several designs before landing on a look and feel - as you should for any project. The design was considerate of costs and then it was just a matter of carving out a couple of hours here and there to get it done with the help of our facilities manager.
7. You received the Core Value Award for Passion as the result of this amazing transformation, what does “passion” mean to you?
When you try to improve something or make something happen because it just feels right, without consideration of how it benefits yourself, to me that’s passion.
8. What advice do you have for individuals/organizations that are trying to better weave their company culture into their office space?
Don’t be afraid to propose ideas that would make you feel positive or comfortable. Chances are someone else is feeling that way too.