What do your Toilet Stalls say about your Company Culture?
Toilet stall doors can provide much more than privacy.
I have a confession. I am fascinated with toilet stall doors. I know it’s weird.
Recently, I attended an event on Digital Innovation at General Assembly, which is an educational and co-working space for entrepreneurs. As I sat there, a familiar urge arose and I headed to the restroom. After situating myself, I found myself looking at a rectangular silver plaque with black embossed letters on the back of the door that read:
“Please refrain from flushing paper products other than toilet paper. There are better ways to dispose of love letters to your ex.”
I grinned, delighting in the injection of humor while participating in a universal banal activity. After washing my hands and checking that no one else was in the room, I opened all the stalls, discovering each had a different message.
Although each plaque had the same first sentence: “Please refrain from flushing paper products other than toilet paper”, much to my amusement, the second sentences varied.
- “There are better ways to dispose of unwanted phone numbers from callers.”
- “There are better ways to dispose of old copies of Vanity Fair.”
- “There are better ways to dispose of communist propaganda.”
These plaques were clever, unexpected and playful which aligns and reinforces the culture General Assembly strives to create for its members while connecting it to their hip brand personality . Entrepreneurship requires being clever and delivering the unexpected. Grueling is another word that comes to mind when building a company from scratch. General Assembly has given an unexpected moment of comic relief to its members and guests. Bravo.
These plaques are what anthropologists call “artifacts.” Many associate this term with discoveries from archeological digs displayed under glass in museums. Most common are tools, vases, imprints of cave drawings, jewelry etc. These serve as cultural clues from a certain time period.
Organizational artifacts represent any physical object. For example, wall color, what is hung on the wall, how the office is laid out, what the reception desk looks like, the existence of flowers or plants, parking spaces, and all signs including ones in toilet stalls. Each artifact and the total collection act as an articulation of a company’s culture and what matters most. These also represent a company’s identity —both internally (culture) and externally (brand).
Warning, my obsession continues.
Because I suspect you are already thinking about what to put on the back of your toilet stall doors here is another example.
One of my clients in Northern California is in the utility business. In the restroom I use most, on the back of their stalls is a taped 8 x 11.5-inch piece of paper with a colored oceanic border surrounding the typed colored text.
“Please, Make sure Seat is Clean and Toilet has Actually Flushed before leaving the stall.”
Although I never checked if they had plumbing issues, this message connotes that this is a conventional, rule-based company that values sanitation. And yes, this is aligned with their foundational culture of safety.
Most recently, I noticed on the outside of one of the stall doors there was a black and white typed 8 1/2 x 11-inch paper which read:
“Do Not Use. Out of Order.”
Maybe it’s the former advertising executive in me, yet c’mon people, you can do better.
Imagine how a customer-service orientated company—be it a customer-care center, a restaurant or a hotel would take advantage of a stall that is out of order. This is what I envision:
“We apologize for the inconvenience, this stall is currently indisposed. We will resolve this shortly.
Thank you for your patience.”
And on the inside of the stalls, placards could read:
Smile. Make someone’s day. Everyone is important.
These signs directly reinforce the spirit and behaviors the company wants team members to emulate with customers.
Below are four steps to help your company take advantage of signage to reinforce the spirit of your organization and build a cohesive company culture.
- Become Aware: Take pictures of existing signs inside and outside your building.
- Examine Signage: What do those signs say about your culture and what matters?
- Enhance Efforts: How might you take your signs up a notch to infuse your company personality? (E.g., at the coffee station: replace caffeinated and decaffeinated signs with fuel up and fuel down.)
- Identify Opportunities: Where are opportunities to place signs or plaques to permeate your company identity, brand, and culture?
Please share with the community what you have seen on the back of toilet stalls that made you grin?
This was also published on The Good Men Project
Hi, I want to subscribe for this webpage to get hottest updates, thus where can i do it please help.
My partner and I stumbled over here different website and thought I may as well check things out. I like what I see so now i’m following you. Look forward to looking over your web page yet again.|
Incredible points. Great arguments. Keep up the amazing work.
Thank you for some other informative site. Where else could I am getting that kind of info written in such a perfect method? I have a mission that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the look out for such information.
Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely believe that this website needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the advice!
Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve truly loved browsing your blog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!
Awesome! Its genuinely amazing post, I have got much clear idea concerning from this article.
Hello! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
Generally I do not learn post on blogs, however I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite nice article.|
Attractive part of content. I just stumbled upon your website and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your weblog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing for your feeds and even I achievement you get entry to persistently fast.
May I simply say what a comfort to find someone who really knows what they are discussing on the net. You certainly know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people should look at this and understand this side of the story. It’s surprising you are not more popular because you certainly possess the gift.
It’s hard to find educated people on this subject, but you seem
like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks
I savour, cause I found exactly hat I used tto bee looking for.
You have ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great
Pretty part of content. I just stumbled upon your web site
and in accession capital to assert that I get actually loved account your weblog posts.
Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I
achievement you access consistently fast.
I am regular visitor, how are you everybody?
This paragraph posted at this web page is actually good.
I do believe all of the ideas you’ve offered for your post.
They’re very convincing and will definitely work.
Still, the posts are very brief for novices. May you please lengthen them a
little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.
I’ll immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not to
find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service.
Do you have any? Please allow me recognize in order that I could subscribe.
Attractive component to content. I just stumbled upon your site and
in accession capital to claim that I acquire actually enjoyed
account your weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing
for your feeds or even I success you get admission to consistently fast.
Nice post. I was checking constantly this
weblog and I’m impressed! Very useful information specially the last section 🙂 I deal with such info a lot.
I used to be seeking this certain information for a
long time. Thanks and good luck.
Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusement account it.
Look advanced to far added agreeable from you!
However, how could we communicate?
A fascinating discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write
more about this subject, it might not be a taboo matter but
usually people don’t discuss such subjects. To the next! Cheers!!
This is a great blog.
I noticed one of your pages have a 404 error.
We absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your post’s
to be exactly what I’m looking for. Do you offer guest writers to
write content to suit your needs? I wouldn’t mind composing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write concerning here.
Again, awesome blog!
I’ve been exploring for a little for any hjgh
quality articles or blog posts on this kind of house .
Exploring in Yahoo I eventually tumbled upon this website.
Reading this information So i’m happy to exhibit that I have a veey excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed.
I so much unquestionably will make sure to don?t put out of
your mind this weeb site and give it a glance regularly.
шейпинг киев website гимнастикадля детей оболонь
Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform?
I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create
my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog?
Any help would be really appreciated!
I really love your website.. Great colors & theme.
Did you create this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my very own website and would like to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
I feel this is among the most important information for me.
And i’m glad reading your article. But should statement on few general things,
The web site taste is ideal, the articles is really great : D.
Good process, cheers
I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been working with?
I’m experiencing some small security issues with my latest
website and I would like to find something more risk-free.
Do you have any suggestions?
Ahaa, its good conversation about this article here at this weblog,
I have read all that, so now me also commenting at
Hi there very cool web site!! Man .. Beautiful ..
Amazing .. I will bookmark your web site and take the feeds
additionally? I am glad to search out so many
useful information right here within the publish, we want work out extra strategies
on this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .
Thank you for consisting of the lovely images– so open to a feeling of
I conceive other website proprietors should take this site as an example, very clean and great user genial design and style.
Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading
it, you could be a great author. I will make sure to bookmark your blog
and may come back in the future. I want to encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice
Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.
I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will eventually come back later in life.
I want to encourage continue your great writing, have a
What’s up, always i used to check webpage posts here early in the break of day, for the reason that i love to learn more and more.