You can tell a lot about a company's culture and where it is headed by how it celebrates. This week I had the opportunity to experience a new organization celebrate Halloween. They celebrated it well. Here is what I saw and heard:
- The office was well decorated in all areas
- Most people dressed up
- The CEO and the rest of the leadership team dressed up
- A party was held and everyone who wasn't on a call attended
- Employees were invited to bring their children for "trick or treat"
- Parents got the opportunity to introduce their kids to their colleagues
- The emcee was fun and considerate about the children ("Let's not clap too loudly in case it scares our little ones.")
- There was audience-based voting for best costume contests
- Premium parking spots were raffled off to employees who were nominated by peers for being helpful
- People had a great time and were smiling a lot
- Next year's party is on the 2013 calendar
In a meeting I was facilitating, someone noted that a company's culture is defined by thousands of small things that shape how people feel about the company. Not long afterwards, a person came into the boardroom asking if she could take the team's picture in costume. She wanted to add it to a recruitment brochure with the caption, "Do you want to work for a company like this?" Small things aren't so small after all.