In the busy first days, month and year of your startup, the last thing on your mind is probably your company culture.
In today’s article, we look at how to create a successful company culture because it actually is something you should attend to from day one.
Why is it Important?
According to the Harvard Business Review, your company culture shapes the motivation of your employees.
After surveying more than 20,000 workers all over the world, they found that, “Why we work determines how well we work.”
They found there are three things that are vital to creating a successful company culture. They are:
Play. It improves employee moral because workers are motivated by the work itself. For example, a gymnastics coach enjoys his job because he enjoys the core activities of teaching.
Purpose. This is when an employee’s identity fits well with the outcome of his work. He enjoys his job because he thrives on the impact of it. For example, the coach enjoys his job because he inspires children.
Potential. This is when an employee’s identity benefits from the outcome of the work. The job enhances the worker’s potential. For example, the coach wants to own his own gym someday.
While creating a positive company culture is critical to the success of your startup, it can be overwhelming to figure out how to create and manage it. To help you do that, we look at how to create it.
Before you create a company culture, you first have to define what it looks like.
Defining what you want your company culture to look like forces you to write it down and make a plan for ensuring it happens.
If you want, you can include your management team and top decision makers. Have a brainstorming session and make sure everyone agrees on your desired culture.
Remember, though, that this is your business. You want your company culture to align with your personality and your core values.
Here are some things to think about when defining your ideas for your company culture:
- Is creativity important?
- Do you believe in working and playing hard?
- Are you relaxed?
- How do you feel about work/life balance?
- Do you want to foster a team spirit?
- How do you want your employees to feel at work?
- What vibe do you want to give off?
Once you’ve defined it, then write it down. Don’t leave out this step. It’s a must if you want to be successful.
If you don’t, you leave the definition of your company’s culture up for individual interpretation.
Be the Guiding Force
Ultimately your company culture is much more than what you say. It's truly about what you do.
If you don’t set the standard, the odds are pretty slim that it will stick.
Company culture is built slowly over time. It’s done well when led by a competent management team dedicated to the same end goal.
Worth noting is that every word and action you and your team leaders take has an impact on how your company culture develops.
Another thing to consider is how you handle conflict.
It’s always easier to build successful company culture when things are going well. The defining moments come when things are difficult.
How do you act when there is discord, disagreement, or money is tight? How do you respond if a staff member gets ill or wants time off to watch her son’s soccer match?
How do you treat an employee who doesn’t perform to your expectations?
Work as Team
Finally, revise your lingo. Don’t separate people by departments. Work as a team.
Build unity and community by fostering the mantra, “We’re all in this together.”
Take some time for fun and make sure that everyone buys into your idea of a successful company culture.
If they don’t, perhaps your startup isn’t the place for them.
Building a great culture isn’t a quick and easy task. But as a startup, you have the added benefit of starting from scratch.
Don’t underestimate the importance of creating a successful company culture.
Do acknowledge that companies with high performing cultures have a powerful advantage over the competition.
Not only will you have better employee morale, but your staff with work harder, and you’ll be better positioned to hire the most talented employees.
So, it’s time to get your pen and paper out and start defining the perfect company culture for your startup. Just remember that you have to work there, too!
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