Ask your intern.
A Gallup study confirmed that the benefits of a positive, engaged company extend beyond lower turnover and increased morale. This research showed that, on average, engaged organizations had an earnings per share (EPS) 390% higher than less engaged competitors.
But how can you objectively determine if your company has an engaged, team-oriented company culture?
Here’s a hint: If you are looking to gain real insight into your company’s culture, don’t review your company’s training manual or look for idioms etched in the founder’s desk.
Ask the intern.
By examining the relationship between employees and interns, you can objectively assess the hard-to-pinpoint but critical driver of success: a positive, team-first company culture.
It is important to examine this relationship between employees and interns, for a variety of reasons. The first of which is that employees treat interns as they were first welcomed into the company. If an employee doesn’t treat an intern with dignity because the employee is wary of teaching the intern too much, then your office is already a crumbling pyramid.
The assumption here is that a business will grow when employees’ ideas compound as they work toward a common goal. This isn’t the little-fish-sticking-together-to-avoid-the-shark strategy. Rather, it’s a team that acts like dolphins strategically corralling their next feast.
So let’s suppose you accept the assumption above and you corner your intern (hopefully in a well-ventilated room with plenty of snacks). What do you ask?
- Has anyone ever gone out of his or her way to teach you something?
- How often do others ask for YOUR opinion?
- Do you feel like you are given one-off projects with no real career value? Or do you feel like you are an investment?
As a recent graduate of gyro’s training program, I can uniquely speak to the value of an engaging culture. Three days before my promotion to the San Francisco account team, I had suggested an idea to incorporate a client’s logo into an ad creative. Our San Francisco president, senior vice president and executive creative director listened to my opinion as though it were as valuable as their own.
In a semi-sarcastic but always humorous British accent, our executive creative director remarked something to the effect of, “Please welcome our newest member of the creative team.” While this comment was certainly said in jest, the sentiment was genuine. gyro had invested in and respected an intern because it was in its DNA to do so. The company wasn’t afraid to let a good idea rise to the top.
To accurately assess how far you have to go to develop (or maintain) your company’s invisible ecosystem, you may just have to ask the intern.
by Jordan Hodgson
Assistant Account Executive – gyro San Francisco
Cross posted at Ignite Something on the Forbes CMO Network
Follow Jordan on Twitter @JordanBHodgson