The Link Between Support, Culture, and Success: It’s No Optical Illusion

Working mom holding her baby girl before an interview

About a hundred years ago a Danish psychologist put an image in front of people and asked what they saw – two faces or a vase.

You might ask the same of a recent LinkedIn story about a recruiter who pitched in when a client’s job interview was nearly derailed by a child care breakdown. 

“Daycare had called and she had to go pick up her little one,” wrote the recruiter. “I drove out to the site to meet her – I am now with her little one watching Peppa Pig.”

The question is, do you see a child care problem in the above vignette – or a culture story?    

The answer can be found in the comments.

“Sometimes it takes going just a little bit further than what your position calls for to make a difference in someone’s day.” 

“Many a time people forget that as humans we all have other responsibilities (kids and family) that take precedence and judge or penalize us!” 

“Awesome support for the talented person that you helped place! Great idea!” 

“As a parent (your client and myself) there are so many times we face the wall when we do not have a support network.”

“These are the kind of moments that make you fall in love with your work all over again!” 

“What a wonderful company going above and beyond! This is the kind of culture all companies should strive for.”

“That's awesome. As a service provider it's always necessary when needed to step out of your framework. Good!”

“We all need to appreciate the whole person a lot more than we do.”

“When a member of staff walks through the doors they’re not just a banker, lawyer, teacher etc, they’re a dad, a mum, a son, daughter, brother, sister, carer, best friend etc. All that other stuff isn’t an inconvenience, that stuff is what makes the person who they are.”

Which is It? A Child Care Problem or a Culture Story?

The postscript to the story is that the interviewee aced the interview and got the job. “I now have a very thankful candidate and a happy client,” wrote the recruiter.

“After many years,” summed up a commenter on the connection between culture, support, and success, “I've found a company and leadership team who put their employees first which in turn increases shareholder value.”

So, look again – do you see a child care problem about what happens to business when people don’t have care for the people they love? Or do you see a culture story about how great cultures that support employees inspire people to do even more than they have to?

No argument here. We see…both.

And PS. It’s a vase.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

July 19, 2019

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.