At Wolfgang we’re all a little different. I mean, we even advertise it… it’s right there in the tag line for the company. We don’t bring up the tag line in the office all that often, we see it on the marketing material and around but we don’t talk about it all that often. We don’t need to talk about it because it is so engrained in the way we do things.
Last time I wrote a post I wrote about the Wolfgang culture and that is part of why Wolfgang is different. We also market differently. We have our giant bouncy castle for one thing. We have our themes written up on hockey sticks and mounted in the office. We also like to meet our customers face to face as much as possible (ok so that isn’t super different but the way we do it is!). One of the best ways to do that? Candy!
A few times a year we get together and pack up candy for our customers so that the sales reps can drop it off in their offices. Often we make it a contest with a larger give away, sometimes candy, sometimes a massage… anything really.
The best part of the candy (besides getting to eat tons of it while we package it into individual bags) is that they customers love it. Now when the sales reps go into offices the receptionists are excited because they know they will be getting candy! It’s a nice little touch point that brightens everyone’s day.
I talk to my friends about work and they are often confused by a lot of the things we do at Wolfgang. Confused about why we spend so much off-the-clock time together, about why we actually like going to work. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard the phrase “But… you guys paint buildings right? What does X (candy, bouncy castles, twitter… you name it) have to do with commercial painting?!”
The easy answer is: Nothing. None of the things we do around the office to add to our experience or the customer experience have anything to do with commercial painting. It does have everything to do with our happiness in the office though and that relate directly to our customers and to ourselves. When you are happy you can make other people happy much more easily.
It’s a good thing our purpose is To Make People Happy… and that candy makes people happy… because that way we can keep delivering (and eating) candy!
As you might know I have been growing my beard and I can’t trim until we start our first exterior paint job. Well the beard is quite distracting. I have spent hours trying to convince Simon, my two year old nephew, that he should grow a beard. I have repeated the mantra “I want a beard!” to Simon at least 500 times.
After all my hard work Simon is finally asking for a beard! So the first lesson you can apply is that if you say something 500 times people will internalize the message.
Now, I have tried this technique on painters before, and it wasn’t incredibly successful. I have said to painters ‘make sure everything is clean’ over 500 times and they don’t always get it right. That leads me to the second lesson.
The second lesson is start young, anyone over three years old is a lost cause. (I have tried the same mantra on my other Nephew, OB1, who is 4 years old, but I kept running away from me saying ‘No’.)
This one might seem a bit obvious but you subject also has to be open to changing their behaviour. At the wise old age of 4 OB1 is pretty set in his ways. Simon however is ready to learn and grow. Lesson three: Your subject must want to change.
As it turns out, it also works better if your subject knows you and trusts your relationship. That is lesson four. Trust. For scientific purposes I tried the same technique on a random 2 year old in a McDonald’s once. It didn’t work very well.
After my success with the beard growing I used the same technique to try to convince Simon that his stuffed monkey was actually a penguin. After 500 attempts he still wouldn’t believe me. Lesson 5 is you can’t convince a subject of things if they know it is wrong.
So when you put this all together what do you come out with. Well once concise sentence of course!
To help someone to learn and to grow you must have patience (lesson 1), trust (lesson 4), value based messaging (lesson 5) and, in turn, your subject must want to learn (lesson 2) and be open to change (lesson 3).
Two kebab house customers enraged by wet paint on their clothing have been sentenced to more than five years in prison for beating a delivery man to death and seriously injuring the shop’s owner.
Read the full article on Durability and Design here
Coming home from Vacation is always hard. When Dave (our CEO) came back from his most recent vacation he shared a story about staying poolside until the very last second before the airport bus was leaving.
I just got back from spending the last week on the beaches and in the national parks of Costa Rica. It is a bit of a change to come back to the rain and everyday work life when less than a week ago I was hiking past volcanoes to swim in a waterfall with spider monkeys and giant blue butterflies overhead.
I have to say though. For me, a week is enough vacation at a time. When on vacation sometimes you meet those people who have been traveling for 3 months, or spend a few months of every year on vacation. I get jealous of their lifestyle when I am also on vacation but towards the end of vacation I always start to miss home.
On the last morning, waking up at 4AM to find my way through a foreign city to a bus stop, I couldn’t stop thinking about getting back to work and normalcy. Getting back to grocery shopping and physio. Getting back to a place where I could speak the language.
I even missed work. That is a bit taboo to say – but it is true.
I missed Wolfgang. I missed working in the office on projects that I get to choose and working on personal development. I even missed making collections calls (a bit).
The fact that I was able to miss work lets me know just how awesome Wolfgang is to work for. We have an official culture statement at Wolfgang. It is up on the front entrance to our office but no one here needs to be reminded of what it is.
Everyone is Supportive.
Everyone is Passionate.
Everyone has Fun.
At Wolfgang we don’t need to be reminded of this, we live it every day through staff parties, events, weekly lunches out…
Getting back to work, the friends that I had traveled with complained about the stacks of work they were coming back to. Complained about the workplace conflicts and the day to day boredom that is normal life. I however, am thankful that I was able to come back to work to a minimal pile of work (thanks to supportive co-workers who helped out while I was away) and to an office culture that I genuinely enjoy being in every day. I am also thankful that I get to work for such a great company and thankful to Dave for building a company that I get to enjoy coming back to (even if it isn’t 35 degrees and sunny here every day).