What is Kitchen Culture in Business
I know you just read that headline and thought to yourself, “What on earth is kitchen culture in business?”
Let me explain.
Last month, a team “pep rally” spontaneously broke out in the FireSeeds kitchen. As everyone arrived at work and started settling in for the day, we somehow all made our morning coffee run to the kitchen at the same time. As a point of reference, imagine eight bodies in a narrow galley kitchen shuffling here and there, passing the creamer.
Our CEO, Cord Sachs, jumped at the opportunity to turn this impromptu gathering into a time for celebrating some major wins for our team that had all occurred within the previous 24 hours. One team member closed a deal by placing a candidate the day before, while the WildSparq team met with another client to launch its leader development program. And to cap it all off, Cord shared a photo from a text message he received the night before from a Chick-fil-A operator celebrating the impact that WildSparq was having on the unification of his directors and team leaders. In the end, Cord remarked, “This is what it’s all about!”
Although nothing really earth-shattering happened that morning, we all went about the day feeling good about the work we do and knowing that we impacted at least three organizations that week. I promise nothing will increase productivity and teamwork more than that kind of encouragement at the start of the day!
Creating a Kitchen Culture in Business
So that’s what a kitchen culture in business looks like for FireSeeds and Wildsparq. It’s not hard to create, but you have to be intentional to seize the moment when it presents itself. Below are three simple ways to create a “kitchen culture” that will help unify your organization.
Take Time to Celebrate Your Wins
Just as Cord did in our tiny kitchen, find the time to recognize the individual and team wins for those within your organization. It doesn’t necessarily have to take place by the coffee pot, but by celebrating those wins publicly, you increase team morale and allow everyone to see the fruits of their labor firsthand. Productivity is increased when people feel that their work is making a difference, and your staff will become more unified when they all know they are working towards a common goal.
Who Brought the Donuts?
After years of volunteering at my children’s school, I have learned that nothing will rally the troops and improve a group’s mood faster than free food in the teacher’s lounge! And that is a universal truth that doesn’t just apply to teachers who need a pick me up to get to the 3:00 pm bell. Everyone has to eat, but food always seems to taste better when it’s viewed as a treat or an expression of gratitude. Although it may not be biblical, food is most definitely a love language.
In my short time at FireSeeds, we’ve been surprised with donuts each week by a different person on staff, and we’ve also had a team lunch to celebrate our new staff members. Although that may not seem like a big deal, to me it speaks volumes about the generous and team-centered culture that has been established in our office (and I don’t even like donuts!). Personally, those small gestures make me want to look for ways to serve my team in the future, whether that’s with a box of donuts or through some other simple symbol of appreciation.
Kitchen culture in business evokes a sense of casual comfort. Although that can’t always be reflected in the workplace, it’s nice to allow for it on occasion. We spend all week buttoned up and dressed to impress, but there’s something to be said for allowing your staff to dress casually on Friday. The relaxed tone hints at the fact that the weekend is on the horizon, yet there’s still work to be done.
During our spontaneous pep rally in the kitchen, we noticed that everyone had on a company-branded t-shirt, but we were all wearing a different one, which led to a short conversation about future design ideas. Team vision and individual input are important and productive, even on things as small as t-shirt design!
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Sara Wilson is the Communications Coordinator for FireSeeds and Wildsparq, located in Birmingham, AL. You can contact her directly at email@example.com.