A few days ago, I met with a small marketing company to provide some feedback on an HR-related product. As part of our introduction to each other, one of the owners took me on a tour of their office space. Just to keep this in perspective this was a fairly small, leased office space.

I was absolutely impressed. But not by what you might think. Yes, the office space was warm, welcoming, beautiful and the furniture was clean, current and comfy; but it was what the owner chose to point out and what he was telling me that struck me the most.

I realized very quickly the owner was not showing off the space, but rather the culture of the company. Here are some of the items that were most impressionable during the tour.

• There was a display of their Core Values with recent (within the last week) postings by employees recognizing the work or actions of other employees as it relates to one or more of the core values.

• The owner described why they had the cubicle style they chose which were both economical and functional to promote interaction with each other.

• The artwork on the wall was actually some messaging that they had used on a “coaster gift set” that they had given to their clients. Their gift had cultural meaning not just a trinket.

• A bulletin board displayed current storyboards or other work so that all employees could see the work product and accomplishments.

• There is a traveling award that is passed on among employees to recognize those learning and/or teaching.

• The staff has a daily (brief) morning meeting to assure all team members understand what is going on and the work priorities.

To some of you these may seem trivial but I was completely impressed. This is an organization of 13 employees. I have been witness to several organizations that are much larger with not nearly the focus or commitment to Core Values, culture and employee engagement.

Don’t let your space define your company. Define your space, culture and engage your employees. Just a few simple things can make the difference. Leadership of the organization sets this example.

What does your space say about you?

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