Apprentice Hoots: Positive work culture, positive career
As a business, it’s extremely important to develop and create a work culture that is positive and inspirational – one that encourages and allows individuals to grow professionally. Charlotte explains in the latest Apprentice Hoots blog how she has been inspired so far throughout her time with Coacto.
Our work culture has a huge influence on us as individuals
On average in the UK, research suggests we spend 36.1 hours a week at work (90,000 hours at work over a lifetime) and our work culture is the environment that surrounds us all this time. A work culture is described as “The way we do things around here” by Bower 1996 and is the shared values and assumptions, the norms and expectations, the lines of communication, our continuous change and development, and also a sense of identity. Taking this research into consideration, work culture often has a huge influence on our personal lives and also our growth and personality as individuals.
‘Positive work culture, positive career’ – what this means to me
Prior to taking on my role at Coacto, I have heard the words positive work culture thrown about. What was interesting to me is that I had never quite experienced the positive work culture I have found here at Coacto before. Prime examples of this are all around me; for example our managing director, Paul cares and looks after us like a leader to his colleagues rather than a boss to his employees, our project manager, Gary is only ever a call away from endless support and help on projects, and our marketing and administration executive, Jessica helps to flourish your visions into creative masterpieces. Together, the whole team brings happiness, positivity and support into the workplace which makes every day genuinely enjoyable, and because of this I finally understand what a positive work culture really means.
Throughout my time at Coacto many moments have defined what a positive work culture is, I couldn’t list them all. Instead here are my top 5 values that I have witnessed and will encourage others to implement and look out for:
Here at Coacto, we are all treated as equals, nobody is better than anyone else, we are all treated with respect and work together as a team rather than a hierarchy. Everyone takes responsibility for their own actions with integrity, no mistake is a bad thing, instead it is considered only as a learning curve. It is lovely to see the transparency across the whole team as you feel supported when you make a mistake yourself, as after all, we are all human. What I love most here at Coacto, is everyone is a people person. They care about others and the people come first. From little goodies (normally involving cake) and being looked after when I’ve been sick or going through a hard time, to being granted annual leave on such short notice to see family and giving back to the community on group charity runs… there are many examples – Coacto really feels like a family.
I am six months into my apprenticeship and have had the chance to work on six projects, including being a lead in helping to run two of them! I would include this as an example of what a positive work culture means to me as it has provided an opportunity to advance my career, build professional bonds with customers and colleagues, as well as feel trusted and valued as an employee. If I get stuck at any point, I am surrounded by endless support to prompt me in the right direction and help me to learn something new. On top of this, we also have many projects that we work collaboratively on and have great fun in doing so, supporting each other with our different strengths coming together as a perfect team.
Paul is someone with the ability to encourage others to work to the best of their ability. He is a born teacher who will put the time and effort into helping you figure out the answer, rather than just telling you what to do. He is keen in our growth and development and is regularly sharing fun courses for us to attend that may be useful to our work. He gives us the freedom to plan our workloads and allows us to integrate any personal growth tasks we want to complete in our working day. Most importantly, he treats us with respect and values us as people rather than employees.
Within Coacto there is no end of idea exchanging and everyone’s point is important and valued. We have daily scrum meetings in the morning to explain what we did yesterday, what we struggled with, what we are doing today, and what we might need help with. Our scrums are full of support, open mindedness and ideas. We also have regular tea calls which are catch up chats to discuss whatever we like every Monday and Wednesday, along with lunches out at places like Kibou and the Alchemist. There is no end of humour and bonding which makes Coacto a lovely team to be a part of.
Being inspired outside of work
One area I don’t think I have seen listed as a part of a positive work culture, that resonates with me massively, is how inspired I feel by my work colleagues, not just in work, but out of work too. From discussing personal development books and Pei Mun Lim’s LinkedIn posts and Zenhao newsletters on project management, leadership, consulting, personal growth and self-development with Jessica, to Paul’s endless healthy eating tips and inspiring run record times, to Pete Cohen’s life changing Mi365 30-Day Kick Start Your Life programme (which I would encourage anyone to start too!) and many other tricks, tips and healthy habits Gary has introduced me to. My life has transformed for the better in and out of work since joining Coacto.
The workplace can be so much more important than just an income and I encourage you to find a workplace where you can feel as positive and inspired by your career as I do with Coacto.
Owl see you later…