Gone are the days that people show up, punch in, work, punch out and go home.
Now, there is much more to consider when deciding to take a position somewhere, and it’s not the usual how much does it pay or what are the hours.
Nowadays the most important part of the equation is: Who is the company?
Which boils down into: What is their reputation? How do they treat the people who work for them? How do they treat their customers? What are their values? Will you have a purpose there? What kind of company culture do they have?
The culture, not the name, is what sets your business apart from others in the minds of your people and any prospective hires.
This is partly because it’s more positive, motivating, and all-around fun to work somewhere that encourages perks like flex hours, endless snacks or has a super cool office space. While those are just perks, they echo the overall attitude of your brand and help to involve everyone. They help to put your culture into practice.
Your culture reflects the true purpose of your business and defines how your people act, perform, and engage on a daily basis.
For example, Pixar is known for it’s enriched community feel. They actually centralized all of their meeting rooms, the cafeteria, and mailboxes so that everyone needs to walk through the same space to reach pretty much everything. By doing this, they knocked down physical barriers between their people and opened channels for them to communicate with one another.
Or, quite famously Southwest Airlines, who sets itself apart from it’s competitors with their incredible customer success. Each of their core values are strategically focused towards bettering the level of support that staff offers to their customers. In return, staff kill it with their customers and are known for being amazing. (They actually have a voluntary staff turnover rate of only 2%).
Or even, SquareSpace, who has voted as one of the best places to work in New York City two years in a row. They have mastered the art of a flat organization strategy. Meaning they have fewer tiers of management. This helps to bring information to the ground level to be more transparent with everyone who is a part of the team.
So basically, it all starts with how you choose to engage with your people.
Here are our 3 steps to creating a positive company culture within your business:
1. Mission & Values: This means defining your mission in an actionable statement that embodies your purpose as a business. This is for you and your members to use as a guiding principle in everything that you do. If what you’re doing isn’t a reflection of this statement, why are you doing it? It also means setting the core values that helps to determine the mindset of everyone on your team. It’s the practices and principles of the business and establishes the expectations people should have for your services.
2. Communication & Collaboration: On top of your core values, it is essential to outline the procedures, tools and channels your business is expected to communicate through. When a business outlines procedures for communication, it sets a precedence for how business is to be conducted. Meaning how information gets passed down, how decisions are made, and how customers are to be treated. This all comes down to communication and your people’s abilities to have real conversations with one another. When people have real conversations, they collaborate on ideas, and that’s how innovation happens.
3. Office & Perks: Physical spaces help to shape your culture as well, which is why open spaces have been such a trend. Everyone is all in the same areas and can speak freely to collaborate with one another. This also includes the colours you paint on the walls, how much sunlight the office gets, and the placement of the desks. So much of people’s overall moods depend heavily on their surroundings, so keep your people content and happy in positive spaces. This can also mean offering certain bonuses for being there. An endless supply of cereal for breakfast, coffee on coffee on coffee, yoga hours, flex hours, or ping pong tables. By doing this, not only are you keeping your staff happy, but you are giving them creative freedom to brainstorm and have an outlet from their desks.
Cultivating a company culture that is able to meet your expectations as well as attract and retain amazing employees is a very strategic and humble process. You need to sit down and put aside your own personal agenda. To truly explore what is best for your employees and business you must dive deep into the thoughts and opinions of the people who help to power your business by having real conversations with them.
Putting importance on cultivating a strong company culture is not only great for your company’s future, but it signifies to your employees that you care and are invested in their success.
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Hi everyone! I’m Shelby.
I got pulled into the tech scene to write content for this really cool startup, Skrumble. If I’m not typing here, you can find me refilling my coffee mug.