There are certain moments in your life and career that make you stop, pause for a minute, and take stock of where you are and where you started. They don’t happen often but, when they do, its incredibly impactful and you can learn far more about yourself in a few short minutes than you might in several years.
For me, one of those moments came yesterday when, Seattle Business Magazine recognized us for having Washington State’s best employee perks program. Sitting among some of the most loved and respected companies in the state put it all in perspective and man, am I proud.
Sometimes, building a great company culture feels like we’re navigating a minefield littered with horrible examples and warnings of what happens when company culture goes awry. Other times, I worry that the program will just be seen as the “fun team” or, the office party planners.
But, moments like last night bring me back to why, years ago, we started doing this in the first place.
Even before my first day on the job, when I first sat down with CEO and founders Peter Hamilton, Lucas and Lee Brown, I walked away with the feeling that, “these guys get it.” And, not only did they get it, they valued investing in “it” to build a lasting community. I took a big gulp of that juice, signed on the dotted line and have never once looked back.
From day one, they understood that culture is defined by the collective values, norms and beliefs of the organization. Something special was happening at TUNE and I wanted to be involved.
If you ask employees, they’ll tell you we have amazing perks. And we do, don’t get me wrong there. Our perks are legendary and we work incredibly hard to make it a place people want to be. For example, our team organized an epic curling tournament a few weeks back.
But, for us, the real key has been never losing sight of why we plan all these crazy adventures. While they show employees we care about the investment they’re making in TUNE and they give us opportunities to live, demonstrate and evolve our culture, in the end, they don’t define our culture.
Culture is the backdrop for everything that happens at the company. Culture stems from the unique personalities and individuals within that community. It’s that thing you can’t put your finger on – the intangibles, the day-to-day experiences. It’s how people act and feel when they come to work every day.
The world’s craziest perks aren’t the forces that create a company’s culture. All the trust falls, ropes courses and ice breakers in the world are worthless without a strong foundation of common values, norms and beliefs.
We don’t have all the answers, and, we’ve learned a lot as we’ve grown from a handful of employees to more than 300 worldwide. But I do know one thing, we are a young, proud and extremely eager culture, with nothing but strength to gain in the coming years.
What we have known from the beginning is our mission. Above everything, we strive to build and be a part of a community of empowered, passionate people who Collaborate, Optimize, Do, and Evolve together. We call it our CODE.
It’s a never-ending challenge but, for a few minutes, it was great to kick back, enjoy the company of like-minded individuals and celebrate how far we’ve come from the early days.
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Becky is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at TUNE. Before TUNE, she led a variety of marketing and communications projects at San Francisco startups. Becky received her bachelor's degree in English from Wake Forest University. After living nearly a decade in San Francisco and Seattle, she has returned to her home of Charleston, SC, where you can find her enjoying the sun and salt water with her family.