Episode 77 | How to Unlock the Hidden Power of Office Subcultures

David Hassell interview David Hassell interview

 AWE Episode graphic office subcultures
 This week we explore a phenomenon that few leaders understand, and even fewer take full advantage of, despite the powerful effect it can have on your company. We’re talking about the office subculture.

Sure, a lot of leaders are starting to come around on the idea of company culture. But what about subcultures? How do they work, and how might they have a place in your business?

What do we mean by subculture? We mean a distinct team or department culture within an already well-defined company culture.

We wanted to know how these smaller cultures develop, why they might be necessary in your organization, and how to go about shaping and defining them. To help us find out, I spoke to Chelsie Lee, the VP of Customer Success and Experience at SnackNation.

Think of this episode as a case study on office subcultures, and our subject is SnackNation’s Member Success Team (or MST), a team that embodies this idea more than any we’ve seen. Not only did we have Chelsie weigh in, we also had a chance to hear from her amazing team to get their take on how these ideas work in practice, and how this subculture affects their productivity, job performance, and overall wellbeing.

Chelsie and her colleague Clay Telfer also share the eye-popping employee rewards and appreciation program that they rolled out for 2017. Think of it as a video game achievements program made real – complete with custom-made badges for unlocking milestones and participating in team campaigns. It’s utterly unique, and in our opinion perfectly illustrates the identity and culture that this team embodies.

Huge thank you to the tenacious team builders on the Member Success Team, especially Chelsie, Clay, Kelsey, and Lexi for taking time out of their schedules to chat with me.

Member Success Team member Amy B. proudly displays her badges.

Member Success Team member Amy B. proudly displays her badges.

MST Director Clay Telfer shows off the button maker.

MST Director Clay Telfer shows off the button maker.

The badges were designed by Chelsie and punched by Clay.

The badges were designed by Chelsie and punched by Clay.

MST - Tenacious Team Builders.

The Member Success Team.

Here’s Chelsie’s LinkedIn post with additional detail on her team’s recognition program.

Key Takeaways

  • While your tactics might not always perfectly align, your department’s underlying values should never clash with your company’s values and culture.
  • A great recognition program inspires individual development, and helps foster a culture of teaching and learning.
  • Thoughtful is better than fancy when it comes to employee recognition.
  • Any recognition program you launch has to come from a place of sincerity… otherwise, it doesn’t stand a chance.

Introducing SnackNation Market.  

For the past few years SnackNation has only been available to businesses, but now it’s available for homes and awesome individuals too.

SnackNation Market brings health- and taste-conscious folks expertly curated boxes of the most delicious, innovative and healthier snacks right to your doorstep.  With SnackNation there is no more worrying about having a weak, unhealthy and tasteless snack game.

We’ve secured a special offer for the listeners of this show: you can try SnackNation for FREE.

Just visit SnackNation.com/AO right now, and get your first box free (just cover shipping and handling).

That’s SnackNation.com/AO.




Music courtesy of Audio Library, via a Creative Commons License:

Warm by Joey Pecoraro https://soundcloud.com/joeypecoraro
Creative Commons — Attribution 3.0 Unported— CC BY 3.0
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/uFZ9rvvrpHc

Dreams by Joakim Karud https://soundcloud.com/joakimkarud
Creative Commons — Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported— CC BY-SA 3.0
Music provided by Audio Library https://youtu.be/VF9_dCo6JT4