Recently I joined a new company in a managerial role. This is always a tricky thing to do because it’s like you’re joining a family who have their own established culture and way of doing things. Then as the outsider, you’re in a leadership position which can be a bit uncomfortable at first. You need to balance leadership with humility – a delicate things to do.
When I joined the company, there were a few things that I thought immediately that I’d like to change. For one thing, I noticed that they didn’t have name badges. Australia does have some rather large companies, despite being perceived as such a small country, and our company is sizeable. It’s always been important to me as a manager and also having a background in HR to work towards creating the right mood in a company. Happy workers are good workers, and the culture of the work place is so important. I’ve worked in companies that are cold, where no one looks at each other in the elevator, and it’s not a nice place to work. Companies that have a sense of community operate much more cohesively. I mean, it isn’t surprising. That’s why name tags are so important. Learning someone’s name is a huge icebreaker from the start. You chat with them in the break room, learn about their role in the company and a bit aboút their personal life and it’s a great thing because a few months down the track you’ll be calling on them to help you out or collaborate on something. I persuaded the boss to factor in magnetic badges into the budget. They’re a good investment because they last longer than the plastic-paper ones, and people treat them with more respect, meaning they’ll take the aim of social cohesion within the company more seriously. Further down the line, I hope to organise more social events and activities during lunch break.