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Service Culture

Back2school season: 5 inspiring resources with great lessons on work culture

By Fijke Roelofsen on September, 26 2019

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Fijke Roelofsen

Summer’s over, the first day of school has come and gone. Your own school days might be over, but are you eager to learn something new this fall? Then what better time to read some inspiring books by people who have important lessons to teach about the culture of work? Check out these resources and improve your work this semester!

Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan

Richard Sheridan started a company called Menlo, with a radical take on work. The most important thing for people working at Menlo is, as the book’s title says, joy. Sheridan’s approach isn’t one you can just copy. His small teams focus on projects that make them happy, but in service management you sometimes just have to fix what needs fixing. There are some important lessons here though. Work can be so much better when we enjoy what we’re doing. And if your employees do their best work, your customers will be happier too.

Joy, Inc. by Richard Sheridan »

The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan

Just like Joy, Inc., this book teaches us something about how company culture influences our work. Specifically, our engagement as employees. Did you know that in spite of a strong focus on creating companies with engaged employees, employee engagement scores are actually pretty low these days? Jacob Morgan has a few ideas on why we aren’t more involved in our work, and how to combat the problem.

The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan »

Powerful by Patty McCord

Every company is different, but some lessons are true for us all. Do you want to empower your employees and colleagues to do their best work? Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, teaches us that it’s all about culture. Now there’s a lesson we can get behind. A great company culture is part of what has made Netflix so successful. You may not run a unicorn streaming service, but there’s something in this book for every organization.

Powerful by Patty McCord »

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Are you more of a literature buff? Or do you just prefer a good old exciting story over non-fiction inspirational content? Try The Circle by Dave Eggers. A word of warning: it’s a far cry from the happy optimism of some of the other titles on this list. One big lesson to learn here: being involved in your employees’ lives is great, but there is such a thing as being too intrusive. And another one that many of your IT security colleagues will recognize: be careful what you share, and with whom.

The Circle by Dave Eggers »

Open Offices Are Overrated by Vox

Not all of us are readers, so here’s a video, short and sweet: this video by Vox provides a brief overview of the history of the open office. These days, many people complain about working in open offices, which are often cramped and noisy. That wasn’t how open offices were intended, though. This video explains how the open office started out as a ground-breaking (or wall-breaking) idea, what happened that led to the inconveniences office workers experience today, and how we can fix the open office.

Open Offices Are Overrated by Vox »

So, there you go. These are our five picks for inspiring resources with lessons to teach about creating a great workplace. Which lessons do you think are the most important? And what would you add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

Customer journey mapping

Would you rather work more directly on customer satisfaction? And do you prefer a practical approach over reading books? Try this interactive customer journey mapping workshop. It’s free and you only need a room with a monitor, writing supplies and a motivated team!
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