Sharks are fearsome creatures, but they’re not to be feared. Although there were only a total of three fatal shark attacks worldwide in 2014, movies and television have made us fear sharks. Sharks are indeed formidable when confronted, but whether they’re fish that look for blood or investors looking to take a small idea to the next level, you shouldn’t be afraid of looking one in the face. In fact, everyone in the world of business, including recruiters, HR reps, or anyone looking to develop a culture at their company can take a cue from these sharks to build a better workplace, without the need to go too far into the deep end.
Rows of Teeth – Prepared For Failure
Sharks have two rows for teeth for chewing food and prey, but they actually have several rows of developing teeth behind those two rows, since they can lose several of their teeth per year. Similarly, companies looking to expand their culture and grow as a business shouldn’t be afraid to lose some teeth (or their case, money). Barbara Corcoran, Co-Founder of Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners and perhaps the world’s most famous “shark,” has described how she’s okay with parting with some serious money for the sake of innovation.
“Each year, I gave all my managers 5 percent of their operating budget to use however they wished with no accountability. If they didn’t spend their mad money year-end, they had to give it back. No one ever did, and they blew it on all kinds of stupid things like ad hoc parties and day trips, costume and movie rentals, surprise bonuses for good deeds, gifts, fortune-tellers and lots of alcohol. They also spent it on wacky business ideas—most of which didn’t work. But they learned to laugh it off and, in the process of failing, tripped over some good business ideas that did work.”
Use all your teeth. Don’t be afraid of trying something out and having it not work. It doesn’t have to be financially, either — taking the time to do something new, even if it won’t work out, can sometimes be worth the risk. For example when onboarding new employees, start with the right system from day one. Creating Infographic Fact Sheets for New Hires using Venngage will help new hires feel more familiar with the company, the company’s mission statement, history, founders and other key information specific to their needs.
Dorsal Fin – Having important signifiers
Sharks have fins atop their bodies for better swimming and balance, but the iconic fin poking out of the water has become their calling card in film and television, giving them an intimidating presence (even if sharks don’t swim up to surface very often). Every good company has similarly an iconic logo, but this sort of imagery should also extend to the internal culture. Having something unique at your company can make the difference between employees who feel like they’re a part of something and those who are just there for the benefits.
It doesn’t have to be a symbol, either — many companies have unique cultural traits that set them apart and make employees feel special. Zappos offers new employees $2,000 to leave because they only want people who love working there; Google lets its employees spend a fifth of their time however they want; Disney asks employees about their childhood dreams before hiring them. And it doesn’t have to just be big companies. Small companies have even more freedom when it comes to making their culture unique and interesting.
Tweet This: 86% of employees and execs cite lack of communication as responsible for workplace failures.
Hunt In Packs – Collaborative Culture
Many kinds of sharks hunt in packs, making it easier to hunt larger prey and allowing them to hunt groups of fish more easily. Like these social sharks, companies should always encourage a culture of collaboration centered around a single pivot. Collaboration is so important, in fact, that 86% of employees and executives alike cite a lack of communication as responsible for workplace failures. Without the ability to talk to each other about critical tasks, it’s impossible to know who’s doing what, and creating teams for projects helps alleviate this. What’s more, making sure employees aren’t afraid to ask for help on difficult tasks will help everyone out in the long run.
Tweet This: 90% of companies improved productivity after implementing a collaboration system.
If you’re looking for a good way to centralize your collaboration, try using a system where everyone can pitch in on tasks. 90% of companies say their productivity improved when they implemented a collaboration system in their office. Why not give it a chance? After all, the only thing you have to lose is some teeth.
Visibility Software Learning Management System can help employees get into the swing of learning from failure, creating a more diverse employer culture and implementing collaborative practices. Sign up for a demo today and see how much more innovative your company could be!