Which Hogwarts House Does Your Company Belong In?

In the spirit of Fantastic Beasts taking the theatres by storm (okay, maybe I’ve seen it three times), Smart Savvy thought to take a deeper dive into the world of Harry Potter (okay, maybe it was only my idea) through a corporate lens, of course. All four Hogwarts houses have very specific traits, characteristics, and colours that identify their people — much like the identifying corporate culture of each workplace (only minus the wearing of colours…and having a Quidditch team). Each House is uniquely distinct and attracts different personalities. Gryffindors are lions: brave and courageous, daring to do things others would shy away from (like facing Voldemort, for example). Hufflepuffs are as gentle as they sound — they’re kind, trustworthy, and just (not to mention they’ve produced the least amount of dark wizards out of all the houses #peacekeepers). Ravenclaws are sharp like their name, a house of intelligence, wit, and wisdom. Lastly, Slytherin has a bad rap but actually possesses admirable qualities such as determination, charm, and ambition.  Where Other Companies Were Sorted… So at this point all JK Rowling fanatics are thinking, where does my company and culture fit? Where would the sorting hat send me and my colleagues? Luckily for you, our friends over at Venngage created a sorting quiz — think Pottermore, but for businesses — and even sorted companies based on that company’s response or their Glassdoor/culture reviews. If you’ve ever doubted that Slytherin is the evil house, think again: Tech Company Culture Hogwarts Houses | Make an Infographic And Smart Savvy is… After much humming and hawing (how does that sorting hat do it?) and wanting to answer with TWO answers for most questions, Smart Savvy landed in the Ravenclaw crew. That’s right, we’re witty and we know it....

The 5 Components Of Corporate Culture That Employees Want

Fitting the job to a person is important enough, but fitting a person to a corporate culture is where the real matchmaking in recruitment occurs. Do they allow dogs in the office? Are leaders the ones who run meetings, or is there a conch so everyone gets their say? Are there casual Fridays or is every day suit and tie day? Here at Smart Savvy, we’ve asked thousands of candidates what they want from a corporate culture, and I’m sure you’ll be unsurprised to find that some consistent themes emerged from the data. The people want five major things from a corporate culture, and leaders should focus on building and shaping these areas of their internal brand:   Vision People don’t respond to tasks or to-do lists, they respond to purpose. They like to know where the company is going and why and how they fit and contribute. A corporate culture that has a shared and purposeful vision fuels motivation and gives an understanding of the desired state or destination. With a clear vision your staff will work hard to make it happen.  Keep your company people-centric, and keep your people vision-centric.   Communication Despite it being overused, we’re going to say it anyway: communication is key and you can’t overcommunicate.  It’s always relevant. Employees want a corporate culture that listens but also cheers loudly; one that gives feedback and gives room for autonomy; one that is honest but not defeating. Employees crave honest, valuable, empowering communication from both their colleagues as well as their leaders. The days of painting a rosy picture are long gone; people would rather face issues (both good and bad) head on, in the open, and with immediacy. As Career Cast says, “Show me a company with great communication, and I’ll...

Giving Back This Holiday Season

As marketers, communicators and sales pros across Canada wrap up their work for 2014, set up their out of office replies and change their voicemail, we wanted to take a moment to feature some of our favourite companies and how they are giving back this holiday season. Communica Public Affairs Communica is making donations to charitable agencies in Calgary and Vancouver, and directly helping to provide some holiday presents, food and good cheer to others in our communities. In Calgary, Communica is again working with the CUPS Adopt a Family team to bring Christmas to two families. We have provided funds for CUPS to provide Christmas gifts, grocery gift cards and a cash donation for a family of four as well as a single-parent family of eight. In Vancouver, Communica staff are sponsoring a family of two – a mother and son – through the YWCA. That sponsorship also includes Christmas gifts and a grocery store gift card. We at Communica are pleased to be able to share our good fortune with others, and that is particularly true at this special time of year. Happy Holidays everyone! Teekay Corporation At Teekay, we support various community initiatives that are close to our heart: the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Variety – The Children’s Charity, Junior Achievement of BC, Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, Vancouver Maritime Museum, and Free the Children, to name just a few. However, around Christmas, the focus turns to some sparkle! We sponsored a tree at the BC Children’s Hospital Festival of Trees, giving back to the local community in support of children’s health. Last year $148,000 was raised from this event alone from all sponsors. The Teekay team decorated a beautiful Frozen tree (what kid doesn’t love Frozen?) The tree lighting ceremony is...

Our Present to You: A Smavvy Christmas Playlist!

So we can’t exactly come sing Christmas carols at your front door, BUT we have the next best thing at the ready: a Smart Savvy crafted Christmas playlist. Each smavvy employee put on their Christmas cap and picked a few songs that are traditions in their house, something that simply must be played in order for things to feel Christmassy. Plug this playlist in at work, sing shamelessly to it in the car, or to do your holiday baking with it playing in the background. 25 songs for the 25th of December – Merry Christmas!   [8tracks url=”http://8tracks.com/smavvy/smavvy-saint-nick” width=”400″ height=”400″ playops=”autoplay”...

Work Friends Beat Out Free Massages

Working hard or hardly working? Turns out if you want the former, you should encourage your employees to have a best friend in the cubicle next to them. Rather than distracting them with small-talk or chit-chat, workplace friends actually boost employee engagement and loyalty. Officeteam recently released survey results that may make managers think twice about the makeup of their teams. They show that employees prefer having an office BFF to a fantastic benefits program. That’s right: people surveyed prefer meaningful workplace relationships over a free flossing at the dentist. Employees who have friends waiting for them with open arms rate their job satisfaction 50% higher than those who only have friends waiting at home. One may assume having a best friend at work would simply mean merrier employees: whistle-while-you-work, “give world peace a chance” types. But while visiting the water cooler in my own office, a new reality struck me: friendships at work display whether there is trust or a lack of trust in the workplace. It measures faith in co-workers—will they support each other when they take a risk or do they have to watch your own back? Strong relationships encourage patriotism both to and within the company. Best friends at work make for employees that are best friends with their work. Even BuzzFeed agrees, sharing the ’21 joys of having a work BFF.’ Do you agree with the survey results? Do you think employees are more likely to stay at an organization if they have a work BFF? Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag:...

How to Host a #StandApart Oscar Party

If there’s one great common denominator between us all at the office, it’s the movies. We all see them. We all love them (or hate them, which makes for equally good conversation). Some of us might even wish we were in them. Vancouver, with its “Hollywood North” reputation, is the ideal place to host an Oscar night. And, if you’ve been thinking of entertaining office friends outside of work, even better. Oscar parties offer built in programming, free flowing bubbly (at my party, anyway) and a great reason to get together (way less pressure than a formal dinner party). If you’ve been thinking you might like to try your hand at organizing a red-carpet bash, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve scoured Pinterest for the best-of-the-best when it comes to Oscar entertaining and compiled this list of my top 7 tips for hosting a #StandApart Oscar Party – for coworkers, friends or, if you dare, a mix of the two. Don’t forget, the 86th Academy Awards air this Sunday, March 2nd at 4:00pm. We hope you’ll join our online Oscar Pool Contest too. It’s free to join and open to all. You can follow along online for automatic scoring during the awards, and you’ll be competing against other people from well-known companies in Vancouver. We’ll bring the prizes, you bring the fun. How to Host a #StandApart Oscar Party in 7 Simple Steps Make it Officially Awesome.  Any good Oscar party has an air of tradition. When it comes to getting the word out, you’ll really set the red carpet mood with one of these “official” Oscar Evites. Play Stylist for Your Friends Let’s face it, people love a little dress-up action (even those who groan at the prospect). See Exhibit A: the wildly popular photo-booth trend. Look no...

Love Monday #49: How to Fail-Forward

Pop quiz: Vancouver’s current weather forecast is best represented by which Oscar nominee? If you guessed Disney’s big screen comeback “Frozen”, then you should definitely be part of our Smart Savvy Oscar Pool Contest. It’s open to all, with four top prizes of $100, $75 and $50 movie gift cards up for grabs (plus bragging rights). Maybe your career or your current team is feeling a little bit frozen itself?  Here are five #LoveMonday links to keep your skills hot and avoid a career ice-age.   Competition and Your Career – “A rising tide raises all boats,” said a cinema expert about the feverish competition amongst animation studios today. Perhaps the same logic can be used for your career and the other rising stars in your organization? Do you fear competition from your colleagues or do you use it to drive your performance? Here’s why competition int he workplace might be a good thing. … Can LinkedIn get you a job and what is Twitter good for? Listen to Networking in Vancouver founder, Jen Schaeffers and LinkedIn Trainer, Trevor Turnbull, share how they leverage the top social media networks for professionals via CKNW’s Bill Good Show. Excellent insights in the online and networking habits of three outstanding local leaders. … The Two Basic Mindsets that Shape your Life. Believing that your personality, traits or even simple “luck” are carved in stone can place serious limits on your potential. Stanford psychologist, Carol Dweck says we must shed the “fixed-mindset” for a belief system that values fail-forward growth above all. … Get Your Own Attention. Learn Something New. The act of learning reminds us that we have skills to grow on and much more to do. If you don’t have time for weaving class, try reading for 15-minutes before red. Here’s Amazon’s list of 100 Book to Read in a Lifetime.  … “You...

Getting out of Officeland

Stuck in a meeting rut? If your meetings are starting to feel like GroundHog Day (a la Bill Murray), it might be time to break out of the office and try something new. Vancouver offers an endless list of places to get your creative juices flowing, reconnect with team members and break the day-to-day redundancy of office surroundings (which can happen even in the most modern office nests). And, while Starbucks is always a good stand-by, for us it’s almost become too familiar (an office extension). That’s why we loved these outside-the-office meeting ideas from Social Media Monthly. This list has seen us break new meeting-ground two times this week and left us feeling recharged, re-focused and re-connected. Oh, and this list is definitely not just for work-at-home professionals.  Stealing away from officeland into fresh surroundings can inject new energy into team thinking and even help repair a strained office relationship. If you’re craving a change of scenery or need a mid-week refresh, you should definitely try one of these no-cost and low-traffic meeting ideas.   10 Meeting Spaces in Vancouver Other than Starbucks Adapted from Social Media Monthly; Author: Mike Brown, Founder, Brainzooming Group. 1. Hotel Lobbies Ok, so not a boutique hotel with intimate lobby for two, but any big hotel (especially convention-oriented ones) should offer you lots of prime and open meeting space. Think of  them as “guerilla meetings” – with all the benefits of fireplaces, cozy chairs and the lure of a lobby lounge just a few feet away. We like Hotel Vancouver and the Fairmont Pacific Rim for their ample seating and old world/new world interiors. 2. The Library Vancouver Public Library was just named the world’s greatest library. If that’s not enough reason to check it out, the central branch offers five meetings rooms that your team can reserve (free-of-charge) with large tables, chairs and electrical outlets. Plus, all the inspiration you’ll ever need, from the...

Hands Up: Do You Ask Good Questions?

There was an article flying around Facebook last week called, The Questions That Will Save Your Relationship. In all fairness, it was about the varied challenges of marriage and kids, but I think it can equally apply to work relationships. The article focused on one innocent question and the avoidance of it at all costs. The question was: How was your day? Seems innocuous enough, right? But the question, so well-meaning, such a good interluder, can open up a huge bag of worms. When you’re covered in apple sauce and the baby is screaming, it can say, “I don’t see you.” And when you’re on day-two without a shower and s, it can even say, “I don’t know you.” True enough, for author Glennon Melton, it was the simple complexity of early-motherhood that made the question unanswerable. Her days were packed with every high and every low (joy, pain, sorrow, glee) sandwiched together like jam and peanut butter. Enough so that a question like, How was your day?, became an unbearable weight. It was just not a “good” question. So what’s the tie-in with careers? There were three great lessons in the article that spoke to me with respect to asking better questions. I think these are important lessons when it comes to interviews and career growth too. Improving the questions we ask (the way we see and deal with others), can make vast improvements in our overall work performance. Here are the insights: 1) Don’t just check boxes with your questions – First step to a good working relationship is caring. As Penelope Trunk once said on her blog: “People would rather work with someone they like than someone who is good at the job.” If you don’t care, don’t ask. But if you want to move forward, find a...

Love Monday #41: ‘Tis the Season to #StandApart

Any flight delays, spilled drinks and outrageous ticket prices were forgiven last week when @WestJet came out with its heart-warming Christmas Miracle video. Their real-time giving not only created an all new in-flight fantasy, but also brought a sense of greater meaning to an often challenging process for both staff and guests. Through the power of marketing (and a little teamwork), the business of getting from A to B was suddenly, once again…magic. It seems WestJetters know what many of us are still learning: that success at work is about relationships, and the happiness (however measured) we can create together. Merry #LoveMonday to our #StandApart readers. The weather outside may be frightful, but these 3 viral holiday marketing campaigns are positively delightful (and brilliant) @WestJet @Ikea @zulualphakilo … What could be more important than your individual performance? Be prepared to prove your network competence. Yesterday’s “nice guy” – the person who supports and nurtures their network and works well across all teams, functions and levels – is the new measure of success. … Here’s a holiday-inspired work challenge: Where can you capture or create a moment of generosity in your work environment today? And here’s a hint…while coffee delivery is always nice, it doesn’t have to be monetary. Here are 5 excellent ideas for how to be generous at work (and get ahead). … If a gift must be bought, we like these co-worker gift ideas from YVR bloggers: 10 Best Holiday Cookies from Vancouver’s Best Bakeries from @followmefoodie, Secret Santa Gifts that Give Back via @VanVitaminDaily and @tejerven’s list of uniquely made-in-Vancouver crowd pleasers at @VancityBuzz … Professionalism to the end and pre-emptive New Year’s goal planning: great tips for bringing a taste of your holiday spirit to the office without forgetting January is just around the...