The Importance of Office Culture in Developing Talent

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Photo Credit: Gustavo Quiros

“So what if it’s a job? That doesn’t mean you can’t be happy working it”

The second annual Boston NewCo event hosted by MassTLC on April 5th and 6th was a great way to learn about cool businesses in the Boston area and meet interesting people along the way. The atmosphere of the event is laid back, fun, and personal. With over 85 tech companies participating it’s a wonderful opportunity to get out into the tech community, see what’s going on, make some connections, and possibly find your next job. The companies that participated opened their doors and welcomed visitors to come in and learn about their specific vision and culture. Talks were given on a vast array of subjects from, ‘Marketing made simple’ to ‘the hiring process within Boston tech companies’

EF Education First, located in Cambridge, MA, is a company that is dedicated to making the world a better place through travel and learning. Their core values stem from language, learning, and exploring the world we live in. The company was founded in 1965 in Sweden and now has offices in 116 different countries. They offer language courses, immersive tours for all ages, and competitive travel rates/support. EF had the happiest office space and employees of all of NewCO. Their office is brilliant with beautiful architecture, lots of natural light, and sustainability. The employees were kind, genuine, and loved talking about their jobs. So,what’s their secret?

Well, according to the discussion with two EF employees, it comes from within their office culture. They treat their employees well and so their employees enjoy working for this company. A reason could be their emphasis on travel. After the first year of working at EF, employees receive 4 weeks vacation. On top of that, ALL employees are allowed to go on a travel tour every year with clients. But allowing their employees to see the world isn’t the only reason they have a happy culture in the workplace.

Any company can achieve this if they take the time and effort to care about their staff, their personal development, and their opinions. If the staff feels like they matter through the eyes of their department, their teams, and their CEO then they are more likely to come to work happy and ready to do their best.

You can make your company into a community and a family by hosting fun events where everyone can get together and be themselves. At EF they have dancing lunch breaks. This entails taking your lunch into the dance studio and dancing the whole time while still in your work clothes. It’s so popular that they have lines out the door for this event. They also host an EF’s Got Talent competition every year, and each month has a theme week, whether it’s personal health with nutrition talks, meditation circles, and spin classes, or love week, with self love, community love, and, company love. All of these events serve a purpose. They are there to remind employees that their effort matters and that things don’t always have to be so serious, sometimes it’s okay to have fun.

Working with EF is also very open, they encourage their employees to be versatile and hop into new roles. They also are very serious about hiring for personality over resume. They value human communication highly and they take their time hiring employees in a very lengthy interview process.  

By doing things like this, which cost little money EF fosters a love within their company for people, energy, and work.

NewCo Boston is one of four signature industry-wide events MassTLC hosts throughout the year – the others include: Boston/TechJam in June, the Mass Technology Leadership Awards in September, and TRANSFORM in November. Check out our events calendar for details upcoming MassTLC events.