A couple of years ago, Happy Melly published a series of articles about a company called Futurice and how they were creating a workplace environment in which people loved to go to work. At the time I didn’t imagine for a minute that Futurice would become one of the first companies to join Yay4Monday. But join they did…
What is Yay4Monday?
About a year ago I decided to go on a tour. For more than three months I travelled around visiting European tech companies, seeking out those that cared about the happiness and engagement of their employees. I was lucky to find a few of such kind, and what I found out about those companies sparked a lot interest.
People wanted an insight into how they work, why they work the way they do, and what types of practices and habits they had established. I also got contacted by some really inspiring organisations, who were also eager to share their vision and their way of working. And that was how the Yay4Monday project got started.
Yay4Monday is a news portal where visitors can read case stories and learn about the practices of organisations whose employees love their work. Even on a Monday! We interview both leadership teams and employees; working closely with the organization, to create a unique profile, which truly represents their company culture.
We believe you can reveal a great deal about a company’s culture, just by listening to some of the stories told by its employees. Stories of everyday things that make a big difference.
Here’s a great example from Lisa Graf of Ministry. It says more about their attitude to each other than a thousand vague values.
“We have dogs and it’s something I find really nice about Ministry and the people working here. We have one girl who brings her dog every day, a small dog which is very cute. And we have another teammate who brings a dog twice a week, just for the morning. We also have people who are very allergic to dogs, so we had a big meeting to discuss the problem with everyone who wanted to join the conversation. We have dogs and we have people who are allergic to dogs. So what would we do?
One solution would be to tell dog owners that they cannot bring their dogs to work. No one wanted that because many people knew how difficult it is to find a dog sitter, or to leave a dog at home all day. Then a group of people said, “We are not allergic to dogs. Put them in our office”.
We decided to make it a dog room. So now the dogs are allowed in a certain area to prevent them spreading their hair all over the place.
It was a really nice gesture from everyone saying, “No, we don’t want you to leave your dogs at home, that’s not the point. We need to find a solution.” I think it really shows the spirit of Ministry. It’s not about bringing a problem the easiest solution, but instead finding the solution which makes everyone happy as well, and showing them that they are appreciated as much as everyone else.”
This is the reason we talk to employees and try to find what they feel and think. We also look for practices, rituals and initiatives which shape the life of employees, clients, community and other stakeholders.
Another great example is the “Afternoon Tea” ritual from Vincit.
“Once a month we get together at the office to discuss how the things are going, listen to the leaders and share food. During the event, the Helsinki office joins via a video call and we talk about a range of issues.
Afternoon Tea is a time for us to know how the company did in the previous months and praise the colleagues who showed high commitment to our values. The leaders share information about sales, upcoming gigs, new initiatives. Mikko, our CEO, answered any questions he received via email or during the event.
You’ll find these and many more stories and practices curated on Yay4Monday.com. Think of it as an inspiration hub, where everyone can go and cherry pick the best ideas that can help turn their organization into a happy and engaging work environment. Yes, we’re inviting you to steal and tweak practices and make them work for you!
Yay4Monday is still an experiment. We’re always looking for better ways to tell the world about these great organizations. And we’re looking for more inspiring stories and organizations.
Can you share a similar story about your organization? Write to us we would love to hear from you!