Superheroes are known as a fantasy and a dream every kid has at one point or another. But what if the idea of superheroes blended into your job?
During our Innovate Ireland Immersion Trip, we visited an online retailer that specializes in products based on customer research and location, Jet.com . We met with the VP of engineering, David Ryan, who kept referring to his team and colleagues as “superheroes.”
At first it seemed like a quirky way to give to praise to his co-workers. But as he gave us a tour through the office, we saw that each branch of the office was actually labeled as different superheroes and their powers. The engineers were Captain America, the data research team was Guardians of the Galaxy, the digital design team was Batman, and the product managers were Superman.
David did admit the concept was a bit corny, but helped us understand the importance of having this superhero culture. By recognizing each team’s skills as a “power,” it brings appreciation to others that might otherwise be understated. Superheroes represent not only those who save civilians, but people who represent good values and teamwork.
How Does Recognizing Superheroes Help?
This concept of superheroes is not only unique but critical to having a healthy work environment. No matter how much free food or swag is offered, or how nice the office is, if the employees feel unappreciated, it can not only hurt office moral but the product as well. We visited a lot of companies with beautiful offices but the ones that the employees seemed happiest in were the ones that made small efforts that helped make each team feel as important as any other.
Not every company should be modeled after superhero’s, but having a spirit incorporated that helps employees share their credit with other teams and co-workers, helps a company become more understanding of what it needs to succeed and what culture they want to incorporate.
Culture is Key
Culture is a big asset that should always be considered when choosing a future internship or career. Whether it’s through using superheroes or another type of fantasy team, motivating employees should be integrated into the culture for the greater good.