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Culture Hacking – The secret ingredient to every successful workplace


From Africa to Malaysia to finally settling here in Australia, I’ve spent 27 years travelling the globe working in the health and fitness industry. I’ve developed a strong passion and understanding for people and workplaces. Working for some incredible entrepreneurs over the years like Mike Balfour OBE, Richard Branson, and Brendon Levenson, there’s clearly one ingredient that makes companies successful and it’s all in the culture.

From the downright ugly through to off-the-wall amazing cultures, I’ve seen it all. I have personally led one of the most profound cultural changes in the industry, which resulted in us winning the Deloitte Best Place To Work Award in South Africa and again being recognised as one of Australia’s 2022 Best Places to Work by WRK+.

However, most companies I’ve encountered never realise their full potential because they don’t know where to start when it comes to building a great culture. It can often feel overwhelming to embark on cultural change, as it seems to be an enormous amount of work that might take years.

There is a cloak of mystery that surrounds companies that achieve these great workplace statuses. Often these companies come with cool and quirky benefits and are based in exotic and popular locations which makes them desirable places to work. However, this is unobtainable for many organisations.

Companies get stuck on the herculean task of trying to shift hearts and minds. But to influence the thoughts, beliefs and values of every single employee is no easy feat. This is where our secret ingredient comes in handy. Cue culture hacking – a flexible and easy-to-adopt agile methodology to improve your workplace.

Culture Hacking is about spotting weaknesses in your company’s culture and finding creative solutions that gain momentum. It’s great fun and your teams will quickly see the benefits, which will help you gain support for longer-term cultural change strategies.

If you’re looking to create a service culture within your company, then start with a strategy that also provides your people with a great service experience. I believe you can’t give what you don’t have, which means your team must know what it feels like to be “wowed” before they can replicate that within their work and with customers. I’ve provided a few small tips to help launch your culture-hacking journey and to delight your team.

Hold a Burrito Friday: When teams are under the pump, and everyone is getting tired we’ve thrown a Burrito Friday – announced as a surprise when they come into the office on Friday morning. The team put in their order and the reception team takes care of it. Simple!

Bring your dog day: It’s been scientifically proven that having your pet at work reduces stress levels. Let your teammates bring their dog to work now and then – it might get a little crazy, but it always turns out to be a fun day and they’ll always leave at the end of the day with high spirits.

Hold a bake-off: Every now and then run a competition to see who can make the best cocktail, protein ball, or raw bar. Supply all the ingredients, divide the office into teams and let them bring in their own secret recipe. This encourages your team to work together and spend time with people they don’t usually get to.

Get The Team Moving: Simple enough as a walk or a game of cricket at the park. Teams who play together, stay together. When everyone is under the pump, it is so easy to not think about what the team needs physically, but even just a few moments can get the blood flowing and lift everyone’s mood.

While it is great to have a structure in place for the company benefits and exceed your teams’ expectations with additions like concierge services and birthdays’ off, you also need some spontaneity in your people strategy. It’s often these unexpected WOW moments that will bond a team and help build a reputation for being a great place to work. To learn more visit www.jetts.com.au

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