How to Build a Company CultureSeptember 18, 2017
A great company culture is ultimately what will hold your company together when times get rough.
You’re basically assembling your own version of the Avengers or the Justice League. You’re gathering together a team of “super” people to maintain your business and advance your goals. It’s important that those people all get along and work well together.
As the leader, it’s YOUR job to cultivate your company’s culture and make sure it’s up to snuff.
Here are six things to keep in mind when assembling your super team to make sure your company culture forms smoothly:
1. Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
I’m going to talk about eggs for a moment, but stick with me. I swear I have a point.
Think of yourself and your employees as an eggshell, and your company as the egg inside. If you crack open an egg, you end up with a jagged shell. If you try to put two halves together that are exactly the same, you’ll end up with holes in the shell and the egg will come oozing out. But, if you have a shell that has points where the other half has valleys, it will fit together perfectly — keeping the egg inside secure.
Think of your weaknesses as valleys and your strengths as points. If you hire people who have your same strengths AND your same weaknesses, you’ll end up with “holes.” These “holes” will ultimately cause your company to fall apart.
To create a great company culture that solidifies your business, hire people with strengths and weaknesses that are different from your own. For example, if you’re a creative soul, but can’t manage money worth a darn, then a good accountant is a “must have” on the team.
2. Make Sure Everyone Believes in the Goal
Going back to the egg thing for a moment… You’ll also have major problems if you try to match an egg shell with an orange peel. Egg shells are great at holding an egg together, and orange peels are great for covering oranges, but they do NOT match if you try to try to mix them. Following me so far?
If your company is an egg, don’t hire an orange peel to hold it together. Oranges have different values than eggs. They might be great at what they do for oranges, but your eggy goals will be a mess if left in their hands!
The “shells” you hire to hold your company culture together may have different points and valleys, but they’re all egg shells — they’re all on the egg team. They understand egg goals. They all hold egg values and know the egg’s business.
As a leader, your number one goal is to get everyone on your team to work together towards the same goal. Hire people who understand and believe in the goal, and hold your same values.
Oh, and as a side note, this doesn’t mean to just hire white people. I know some readers out there will get confused by my analogy and think that hiring “all egg shells” means skimping on diversity. Not so! Egg shells come in all sorts of colors: white, brown, even blue! The color of your shells doesn’t matter — they all do a fine job holding eggs together.
3. Encourage Communication
Good communication is key to a strong company culture. Encourage your team members to converse with each other and with you.
A thriving company culture is one that freely shares ideas.
This also means giving credit where credit is due, and being generous with praise. Make your team feel valued.
Lead by example and treat your team members the way you’d want to be treated. If you’re closed off and inaccessible, then the company culture will ALSO be closed off an inaccessible. Be open and friendly with your team members, and let them know you expect them to act that way with each other as well.
4. Have a Strong Goal
For everyone to be working towards the same goal, you actually have to HAVE a goal. Makes sense, right?
In fact, before you even START hiring, it would be prudent to have a strong mission statement. If you’re going to hire people with your company’s values, YOU have to define those values before hiring begins.
If your company has a strong goal in mind, your company culture will work together to make it come to life. Don’t keep your ultimate goal a secret! Let everyone on your team know what they’re working towards.
Nothing brings a super team together like a well-defined vision of the future.
5. Treat Your People Right
Every person you hire is your potential replacement. Treat them as such.
Retirement may be a long ways off, but it’s something every good business leader keeps in mind. Your company culture is your legacy. These are the people who will keep your dream alive, long after you’ve kicked off your shoes and hit the beach for some well-deserved relaxation.
Rewards — both in the form of material goods and verbal praise — are essential. Giving out promotions, when deserved, is also a part of running a great business.
Treat your people right and they’ll treat YOU, and your company, right in return. Every great business is only as great as the people running it. Inspire loyalty every step of the way!
6. Have Fun
Burned out employees are not good employees. Part of cultivating a good company culture is knowing that the people working for you are human beings. They need days off, and a little whimsy in their lives, in order to be productive and thrive.
Here at 133T, team members play video games together when we have extra free time, or share funny pictures with each other on Slack. As long as deadlines are being met, and work is getting done, it never hurts to loosen up once in a while.
As a wise anonymous someone once said: “Those who play together stay together.”
Don’t be afraid to have a little fun, within reason. Let your team know that work is the top priority; however, once the work is completed (or well under way), reward them with a fun activity.
Do YOU have any tips for building a strong company culture? Share the article on Facebook and let us know — we’d love to hear from you!