Every time I sit down on a plane and strike up one of those single-serving conversations with the guy in 17C, I look forward to the obligatory “so what do you do?” question. Each time I launch in to my answer, I begin by explaining that I am a professional fraternity guy.
As you can imagine, this answer is immediately followed by laughter and sarcastic inquiries as to whether my job entails teaching bros how to do keg stands, get girls and purchase the perfect pastel polo (it doesn’t, by the way). As I begin to explain what my job actually entails, I always end up espousing the joy of going to work everyday with people who share a core understanding of the organization’s values and contribute to a positive culture.
Since graduating college, the Pi Kappa Phi National Headquarters is the only work environment I’ve ever experienced. It’s been amazing to share a vision and a culture of brotherhood with my coworkers (both male and female). Don’t get me wrong; it’s not all kumbaya, bro hugs and unadulterated successes. Just like biological brothers, there are times when we disagree, bicker and frustrate, but at the end of the day we trust that we have a common vision and a bond based on the values of the organizations. We share a faith that this culture will allow us to guide the fraternity to grow, educate our men and provide an opportunity for lifelong friendship.
After four years of growing with the organization and creating the social media culture, I am ready to head out into the world in search of my next opportunity. As I search for that opportunity (in New Orleans if anyone reading this is currently hiring), one of the most important factors in my search is finding a cultural fit. I want an office environment that feels like a fraternity. Not the hyper-masculine, binge drinking, Animal House-style fraternity, but the empowering, encouraging fraternity that understands that friendship and a shared set of values lie at its core.
I want to work with men and women who understand the values of the company, who care about one another and contribute as a team to the organization’s success.
As someone who has only had one post-college employer, I don’t know how prevalent that type of business environment is. But in an age where people have the opportunity to deeply connect to their favorite business, brand or organization, I think it is incredibly important to create that culture in order to allow employees to grow themselves, contribute to the success of the company and build a relationship with consumers.
How much stronger would our businesses be if we had an 8-week new employee education process? If socials were a regular occurrence between employees? If continued education and self-governance were mandated?
I think it’d be awesome. I think a business like that would be a place where employees thrive and consumers connect. And I’m hoping to pledge a company like that in the very near future.