You Don’t Need a Ping-Pong Table at Work to Have a High Performance Culture

Google Headquarters

I meet in groups of students discussing their hopes and dreams for the future. We often go through an exercise where¬†they describe their dream jobs, and in an effort to help them aim high, we can help them outline various activities that will help them along this path to achieve their dreams. In listing their requirements, they often speak of a ‘fun and creative culture,’ which is manifest by what I call the Google-standard. While I haven’t seen the latest movie about Google Interns, it is not a secret that the kind of culture they have created is fun.

There seems to be a general misunderstanding about the other part of the culture that allows them to “have a little fun.” That part is the what employees do in this company to create sustained and quality performance.

In the Forbes article,¬†4 Things You Don’t Need to Have a High Performance Culture, author Chris Cancialosi identifies several misconceptions about some of the ‘coolest’ places to work and where startups go wrong. Without spoiling the article – one trend of start up companies is that they want to create a culture of ‘fun’ without creating a quality standard first.

I might add: if the expectation for a good life/work balance is to work at a place that has a ping-pong table, work from home options, paternity/maternity pay, you better expect to pay your dues. The difference is that you will WANT to pay your dues.

This probably goes without saying, but just in case anyone is confused: The work will be hard, often demanding more time and effort – but the payout is that you are working for a quality organization who has a culture of meeting customer needs, and who can at that point look at employer-need integration.