From the moment I joined Great Lakes Now, I was struck by the incredibly welcoming culture. Everyone introduced themselves and seemed genuinely interested in getting to know more about me at our staff meetings. The environment is also very laid back, and although it sounds counterintuitive, I think it makes for more productive workers. Many of our staff meetings start with casual conversation about everything from our lives to our favorite salad dressings, and the relaxed atmosphere makes it easier for everyone to share their concerns and experiences. Everyone is willing to help each other and answer questions because of the casual connections that are made. The staff seems more like friends than colleagues.
Because Great Lakes Now is part of PBS, I also get to attend the full staff meetings for everyone working at Detroit Public Television. Everyone from the CEO down to me, an intern, attends. At this meeting, I noticed two important things. First, the staff of DPTV is incredibly diverse. I got a chance to hear the projects that everyone is working on, and it seemed like the diversity of the staff was reflected in the programming as well. Second, everyone seemed super enthusiastic about being there. Most people tend to think of staff meetings as boring, but I could tell that the vast majority of the staff genuinely wanted to be there and share what they had been working on. We even share “wins” from the week to showcase the positive work the staff does!
Of course, all of this is happening over Zoom. I kind of wish that I could experience Great Lakes Now in person, but then again, maybe not. Perhaps being in-person would have prevented the laid-back yet hardworking culture at Great Lakes Now that I really enjoy.