How Chewse Promotes a Healthy Startup Culture

Chewse is a diverse, culture-first catering startup that brings colleagues together for family-style meals. They believe that when we step away from our desks and break bread as a team, we’re more likely to share ideas and feel heard. Unsurprisingly, Chewse has implemented a variety of tactics to foster great teamwork within their own culture: 

  1. Check Your Baggage. Chewse carefully considers each candidate’s “baggage” during the hiring process, rather than expect that they don’t come with any. Hiring managers eschew the traditional standard of perfection that makes most interviewees feel like they can only show their strengths.  

  2. Transparent Salaries. When CEO and Founder Tracy Lawrence began hiring, she knew she wanted to avoid some of the biases she encountered in the past. So she made the decision to base salaries on market rate and output, and to make them public. As a result, employees feel fairly compensated, and Chewse is attracting talent that believes in their culture and mission.

  3. Red Light, Green Light. Psychological safety is a critical aspect of a positive workplace climate, but it can be difficult to keep tabs your team’s mental health. Chewse starts their Monday stand-ups by having everyone indicate whether they’re feeling green, yellow, or red that day.

  4. Attitudes of Gratitudes. Every Friday at 4:00, Chewse CEO Tracy Lawrence stands alongside her team in a circle for a ritual known as “Atts of Grats.” She models gratitude, sincerity, and raw emotion in a way that encourages others to do the same. Colleagues take turns acknowledging one another and connecting their appreciation to Chewse core values.

Takeaway: If your team doesn't carve out time for healthy rituals, your unhealthy ones (working through lunch, etc.) will take precedence. Try one of Chewse’s ideas, or a create a ritual of your own to actively reinforce your values. Prioritize psychological safety and transparency, and you’ll create an environment where your team can do their best work.

 

 

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