The Voices of 10K Humans: Cultivating A Positive Culture in the Workplace

It Takes a Village (and shared Values)

While much has been written about workplace culture over the years, and entire courses and disciplines dedicated to the topic – that’s not where our ethos comes from.

In our industry, it’s not atypical for people to get their first market research job directly out of high school (or college).  They often do this with no particular education around MR.  Both Kerry Hecht and Jay Tye share some pretty humble beginnings when it comes to what has turned out to be a great career.  So, what does that mean and how does it relate to culture?  We help each other.  We teach each other.  We care about each other.  We aim to build each other up.  Don’t get us wrong – we blunder sometimes but we aim to find curious people who are eager to learn, not rigid in their thinking and not afraid to roll up their sleeves.

We're a finalist for 'Best Place to Work' in the 2021 Quirks Marketing Research Excellence Awards - a true honor for us, and something we think ultimately comes down to the workplace culture we're striving to build and maintain as we grow. We recently asked our team to share their experience of working at 10K Humans, putting together an infographic to bring to life what it's like behind the curtain. While there's always room for improvement, we're proud of our culture - and our great culture is ultimately due to our great team.

How we think about team culture?

Culture is the sum of the parts - it's intangible in many ways (words on a page of team values, how we talk about teamwork), yet is living and breathing in the day to day actions, mindset, and attitude of each and every team member.

Where does it come from?

It's possibly a chicken and egg scenario... it comes from the top down, sure - talking the talk and walking the walk - but to be genuine and authentic it needs to be bottom up, too... becoming that living and breathing part somewhere in the middle.  

How to make it real?

In order to facilitate the living and breathing aspect we've focussed on empowering our team in regards to one core value - growth - and the rest seems to (mostly) work itself out in a positive flow-on effect.

What does 'growth' mean at 10K Humans?

It's a learning and feedback mindset. Always striving to improve ... whether that be collaborating with clients on solutions, experimenting with and embracing new technologies and ways of doing things, or fostering the professional growth of each team member.

And how exactly does it 'live and breathe'?

The aim is to enable our individual team members the space to grow in a supported way. Being able to stretch and learn from mistakes with a safety net. And while we have formal structures in place to facilitate growth (training programs, progression plans, review processes, etc.), it really comes down to mindset.

  • Embracing learning and open to feedback: cue self-reflection and thoughtfulness, taking ownership and accountability, and being open to change and adapting.
  • The flip side to embracing learning and open to feedback, is teaching and being able to give candid feedback in an encouraging and constructive way: cue team work, mentorship, and setting others on the team up for success.

We've grown from a start-up democracy to a much much larger team over the past 5 years. In doing so, we've had to navigate how to ensure open lines of communication and feedback loops, both formal and informal. It's a constant balance and we're still perfecting it!

Final words:

We couldn't be prouder of our team here at 10K Humans, and want to thank everyone for making it such a great place to work. And in the typical 10K Humans spirit - we'll continue to try to improve, grow, and evolve our team culture to be even better in 2022.