This week, for our blog series Culture Collective, we sat down with Stevvi Murray to hear her thoughts on workplace culture. Stevvi is the Creative Talent Recruiter for Museum of Ice Cream. She loves hiking, dancing, experiencing art in all forms and eating lots of ice cream. Stevvi says her life skills include hand embroidery, making cookies that rival your grandma’s, and finding good deals on the internet.
What are three words that describe your workplace culture and why?
Three words that best describe our company culture are creative, fun and team-oriented. These three words are really in line with who we are as a company, our mission and the experiums, places and spaces for human connection that we’ve set out to create. We are an experience first company that’s looking to create these beautiful spaces for people to come and have their sense of imagination sparked and feel creative and inspired. We want to facilitate connection to others through creating these things. We’re really looking to foster a culture that does the same with the idea that if we’re not doing that within the workplace, we’re not going to be successful at creating those spaces for others.
What is your office super power?
I would say my personal office superpower is adaptability. I come from working in the world of startups where things grow and change at such a rapid rate, my ability to sort of jump in head first and spearhead a process or hold a space for others to adjust to change is really where my strengths lie and that strength is particular to working in the startup world.
Why is company culture important?
I believe without a strong company culture, a business isn’t really set up for success. If an organization isn’t working to create an environment where people feel valued and connected and actually want to work, they won’t really stick around. I think, especially as a creative talent manager, I can tell you that top talent is called top talent for a reason. They have standards and they really want to work somewhere great. So, if the company isn’t working to create a super strong culture, they’re probably not going to pull in that top talent. I think without great people, a company itself can’t be great.
What does your team normally do for lunch?
So, every Tuesday, we have what we call “Tastebud Tuesday.” The company invites everyone to eat lunch together. Either we have a team meeting that we’re eating through or we’re all hanging out and enjoying whatever our office has ordered. We’re still discovering all the hot places in the area to grab lunch. In our new offices, we have a big island in our kitchen that we eat lunch around, which is a really great way to help people feel connected.
What are ways your company brings your team together?
So, we have this fun tradition that’s also centered around food called Thanksgiving Thursday. It’s a monthly thing that we do that started last Thanksgiving with the idea that everyone would make something to sort of have a potluck. So, we’ve carried that on to become a monthly thing. We do themes, like you have to bring a dish that starts with the first letter of your first name. So, we really get creative with it and it’s always a fun way for people to feel connected. There’s always a buzz in the office with people talking about what they’re going to bring. So, we do that and that’s a food-centered tradition that helps build a sense of community in the office.
We also do something once a month called no phone day. As an experience first company, we really believe that people often spend way too much time online and connected to technology and their phones. We created no phone day with the idea that we would, as a team, put away our phones and really come together. We have scheduled activities for the day. Sometimes we’ll go have outside of the office experiences. We’ll go to an art gallery or have a picnic in the park. We went to our construction site last week for the new Museum of Ice Cream in New York City. We also have team building activities, but the idea is to pull yourself away from your computers and your phones and really take time to connect with each other and remind ourselves that there is a whole world outside of our phones and technology.
If you could propose an idea to positively impact any company’s culture, what would it be and why? What is your advice to help improve company culture?
I would say create opportunities for employees to really build meaningful connections, get to know each other in a genuine way, and foster a sense of community and pride for the company. I think companies can get caught up in all the bells and whistles like, “Oh we have cold brew on tap and we’ve got a ping pong table,” which is awesome and those things are great, but at the end of the day, none of that really matters if people don’t feel connected to who they’re working with and the company that they’re working for.