Last week, our office was forced to discard 20 litres of skim milk. And yes, it was long life milk… which shows how long we’ve had it.
As a former nutrition coach, I remember being grilled by a media consultant who was helping me practice giving short, sharp succinct answers. She had asked the question “So, Dr Katherine, which milk is the best from a nutritional standpoint? Soy? Almond? Oat? Rice? Hemp? Cow’s milk?”
After several frustrating attempts of trying to summarise a snore-inducing amount of nutritional information, I said the simple truth:
“There is no right answer for all of us, but there is a right answer for each of us.”
That’s why last week, we saw office milk as an opportunity to tailor our office environment to the needs of individuals, and our HR Manager Nadine polled our team to find out what milk they’d like in the office fridge.
As suspected, we’d overlooked something as simple as milk to contribute to employee wellbeing. The poll told us that not a single person in our office drank skim milk, (which accounted for half of the milk we purchase, the other being full cream milk).
We corrected our path and our fridge is now stocked-a-plenty with soy, almond, lactose-free and full fat milk, with no skim milk in sight.
While this may seem a small gesture, it demonstrates the ‘continuous improvement mentality’ organisations must adopt when building cohesive, happy teams .
Nurturing a Strong Office Culture
I’ve never seen team cohesiveness, confidence and connection accelerate so fast in an organisation as when my tech team took the time to pause (and grow) in February of this year.
We’re a fast moving, rapidly growing organisation and exceptionally busy.
Taking the time to pause on team wellbeing was tough to prioritise with such a heavy workload: but we saw it as an opportunity to give back to our team. We knew that investing in mindset would have far reaching benefits, but we had no idea just how far that would go.
The far reaching effects of mindset training
The Activate Mindset Program, based on my decades of study and thousands of hours of mindset coaching, had a distinct mission: to give individuals the tools to thrive at work and in life.
The program, which is based on neuroscience and physiology, delivers rapid upskilling in areas of:
- Pre-emptive stress education and tools,
- Managing our response to triggering events,
- Adopting healthier, high performance habits (especially important in times of adversity) and,
- Bouncing back from failure, faster.
What was surprising was how quickly our team culture accelerated, with undeniable benefits for the company as a whole:
- Creativity and innovation soared,
- Connection between the team members accelerated,
- Confidence and courage was amplified &,
- Trust between the team deepened.
A strong culture benefits a company from the inside out
Having seen the results in my own team, as well as the many organisations I have worked since, I’ve seen a consistent theme: a strong, cohesive company culture benefits a company from the inside out.
Employees that connect with an organisation and its people are more likely to stay, and we know that talent retention is key to a fast growing organisation’s success.
When the team adapts to stress and bounces back from perceived failures quicker, you spend less time lamenting the past and more time innovating.
When the team has each other’s back, and there is a better understanding of how to deal with upset, there’s less interpersonal conflict.
Culture can be activated
What is apparent to me is that when we intervene in organisational culture preemptively, the results can be rapid and far reaching on company performance as a whole.
If we remain committed to improvement, listening to the needs of our teams and putting in place building blocks for continuous growth, we can develop magnetic cultures we are proud to be a part of.
Remember: just like the best cheese is developed through nurturing culture, so do great workplaces.
About Dr Katherine
Dr Katherine is the driving force behind the Dr Katherine science-based mindset programs for greater team connectedness, resilience and improved physical and mental wellbeing. She is a twice published Author and regularly features as a keynote speaker for leading brands across Australia.
Dr Katherine is also the Co-Founder and Director of Corporate Health & Wellness for Advanced Human Imaging Limited (formerly My Fiziq) - an ASX-listed company with a multi-million-dollar market capitalisation, giving her a unique insight on how mindset training can increase performance and foster greater wellbeing with high performance teams in rapid growth companies.
- The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance. James L. Heskett
- Cameron K, Mora C, Leutscher T, Calarco M. Effects of Positive Practices on Organizational Effectiveness. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. 2011;47(3):266-308.