Friday Afternoon Confessional - Company Culture

At 51Blocks, company culture is one of those corporate terms that we throw around loosely. We take time each month to work on our culture to make 51Blocks the best place to work in Denver and to produce the high level of service we guarantee our clients. This week, the men who've been here from the very beginning discuss how company culture shapes the way we do business and how important it is to our staff. Leave us some tips and comments about things you've learned about company culture and what it means for your business over on our YouTube page!




John: ...Afternoon Confessional. I'm John.

Michael: I'm Michael.

John: And, if you haven't seen us before, we got a variety of videos that we do on Friday where we discuss something that's of interest to search engine marketing. It could be strategy. It could be client concern. It could be just an overarching observation.

Michael: Or, we talk about our company.

John: Yes, or we could be talking about ourselves.

Michael: Exactly.

John: Something we do well. So...

Michael: That's actually what we're doing today. We're talking about the company culture a little bit here at 51blocks. You can see some products set up here. This is obviously one of our favorite rewards. This is the Christmas party. We have a tournament, office olympics so to speak, that we'll do different things, everything from a speed typing test to...

John: ...match game, to trivia, to...

Michael: ...full court basketball.

John: Yea, we have full court basketball. Nerf basketball game. That was not fun. Not fun.

Michael: Yea I gotta say that my team did all right on that one. So, that's this. The other thing we do is we have a Friday afternoons, like this, and we do what we call Make It Happy and, what that consists of is...

John: ...a brown bag...

Michael: ...with some airplane shots. Random style in a brown bag that are...

John: That are yes, unknown.

Michael: You reach in. No looking. Pull out...

John: Oh my God.

Michael: and take a drink.

John: And I...yes.

Michael: There are some good rewards.

John: Not that we encourage drinking and driving or anything of that sort but, at the end of a long week, it's kind of fun to toast to the successes and pack away the frustrations with a quick shot of vodka or whiskey.

Michael: Or popcorn vodka.

John: Oh God, who knows. Who knows what comes out of that bag.

Michael: So the other thing we get, actually, is this beer from Renegade, and yes, this is a little product placement because they actually give us free beer almost every Friday. One of our employees there, her boyfriend is the brew master.

John: Right.

Michael: We end up getting lots of different wonderful beers from Renegade Brewery, so I'd recommend checking them out if you haven't already.

John: And who do we know at Chips Ahoy?

Michael: Oh. No.

John: Or do we love chocolate chip cookies?

Michael: I love chocolate chip cookies. Actually, one of the things we're doing today is...

John: It's cookie day.

Michael: Our cookie day. We have a bake off about once every quarter. Quarterly now. Who can create the best cookies? Today is around Christmas, so we're doing Christmas cookies style, and that's why we have these, because every...

John: Is that your entry?

Michael: This will be my entry, unfortunately, this time.

John: Oh no.

Michael: We get snacks here at the company. Random stuff we buy, fun. Sometimes not so good stuff. Sometimes we buy huge boxes of Goldfish and we have a contest to see how quickly we can eat those.

John: Well we have that other contest how quickly I could fill an entire recycling container with Diet Mountain Dew cans.

Michael: John does love himself some Diet...Dr...Diet Mountain Dew. That's for sure, and it was a little concerning to see how quickly, how far to the wrong side, the longer period, that I was, and how quickly you filled it up.

John: Yea that was a check-in I didn't need either. I'd say also that the company culture is about knowing that we have a tense and oftentimes challenging environment and giving people a release. I think the video game machine out front is as quick as 10 minutes of get away from it all as I've ever had in an office. So, I'm okay with Donkey Kong.

Michael: Yea so the machine up front is an old arcade machine that has 60 different, what is it? Old time classic arcade games that you can play everything from Pac-Man to some games I've never even heard of to Galaga to Donkey Kong...

John: Tombstone.

Michael: Gunsmoke. Yea, that's the one you last about ten seconds in, and you're done.

John: We have some pros at that game.

Michael: Yea, we do. Chad and Reggie have now gotten a lot better.

John: The Wii Mario Kart tournament.

Michael: We have our Mario Kart tournament.

John: Elimination style, or was it double elimination?

Michael: Double elimination. Set up a tournament up on the whiteboard.

John: NCAA bracket contest.

Michael: We have an NCAA bracket. We don't gamble, obviously, but the other thing we do to talk about John and about the stress...we don't have any vacation days.

John: Nobody gets to take vacation days.

Michael: It's the opposite of that. You're just kind of on your honor system. You take your time off when you need it. You need a personal day, you need a self-help day, you get it. You gotta do it, get it done. But, you're always asked to get your work done and not put too much stress on other people. But that's something I think is unique about us that we do.

John: What else is unique about us? Well, I think one of the things that's important to us is that, as the company culture is moving forward that it's the staff creating the next move. We don't come here and tell you what the company culture should be. We want to bring people in who are energetic and add to the culture by their presence and what their interests might be. It's not a situation where you and I have much control, if we're being honest. But we still love to see the manifestation of whatever gets somebody going and where they take that, because we welcome...Just bring your personality and be willing to join the group and we'll have a lot of fun together.

Michael: Exactly, we work hard, play hard. I know it's cliche, but that's what we do here.

John: We should come up with a better cliche than that one. But we use it all the time because it really is...

Michael: Work hard. Play hard. Drink hard.

John: There are those in the office who fit all three. There are those who fit just one. All right, so if you have any ideas about company culture that you think are a good idea, we'd love to hear them, because we're always looking to be even more electric than we are now.

Michael: If you're watching this on YouTube, comment below and add your company culture ideas there.

John: Yeah. Best company culture idea you've ever had or worst. We're interested in both.

Michael: Both.

John: Anyway. Thanks for watching. We'll see you again next week.

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