Workplace Culture and Etiquette

Have you ever had job envy? Did you think: I wish I had that job or I wish I could work there!

My guess is that we have all had a little job envy at some point and if not, have at least wondered, how did they get there, what is their story? Working at EK Employment has definitely given me some insight into the various paths pursued by residents to their job. Over the next few months, my plan is to shed a little light into some of these stories, the people who have made it work… who have that job.

While having job envy can relate to the stress of finding a sustainable job or simply the love of dreaming, it can also relate to wanting to work somewhere that fits with you. Often the most envied people work in what you see as the right atmosphere and don’t seem to get tripped up by the little things – the little things that tend to wear us down or form lasting impressions with our employer.

Finding your fit will relate strongly to a workplace’s culture: the how things work, the (monumental) little things. In many ways, it is both the character and personality of the business. More formally, each workplace will have a unique culture, which includes the unwritten rules, codes of behaviour and norms by which people operate in the workplace. It includes the underlying values, beliefs, assumptions, and attitudes that make each business unique. It sets the tone. While culture grows by design or default and all employees contribute to its definition, leaders tend to play the pivotal role in shaping it because they tend to be the ones who set the overarching rules and standards, and are tasked with guiding a business toward achieving its vision.

With this in mind, here is a quick list of the most common “little things” that perplex both job seekers and employers. Knowing both the formal rule and associated culture is key to engagement, productivity, and development in the workplace.

Cell Phone Use
Being on Time
Taking Time Off
Using Down Time
Being Prepared for Work
Workplace Attire
Probation / Discipline Work / Life Balance
Personal Tasks on Work Time
Making Mistakes
Attitudes and Friendliness
Decision Making

Google and Apple are well known for their workplace culture. Their leaders have an acute understanding that having the right workplace culture is key to their success. Locally, we tend to rely a little more on word-of-mouth to know what it is like to work in different places. One place I have always been fascinated with because of their workplace culture is Elevation Industries. They always seem so energetic, engaged, and positive. They have steadily been growing and developing their business. Who and how do things work there?

Resident Feature

Name: Lance Edwards
Business: Elevation Industries Inc.

What was your first job in the Valley?
Working for Timberline Village Management - Mike Delich – 1996 in waste disposal and nursery irrigation!

Why is Fernie a great place to work?
There are not enough pages in the Fernie Fix to answer this one properly. Fernie is a dream town, an incredible place to work, as it offers a richly diverse industry in a world class recreational environment.

What is it about your job that you love?

In addition to Elevation Showcase, our Fernie retail store, we are primarily an import business distributing exciting brands in the outdoor industry across Canada. I am very involved with our suppliers that are based throughout the US and often travel to attend meetings and events in fun places like New Orleans, Seattle, Salt Lake, and Colorado! I love meeting new people in town and connecting with clients from across the country. I also love being able to organize an event in Fernie with multiple helicopters, wingsuit skydivers, speed flying, and to call that work… definitely classifies as a dream job!

If you could relay one piece of advice to someone working toward their "dream" job, what would that be?
An education is a great start, but quality work experience is just as important. Then network as much as possible in your desired industry – get your name out there!