Not too long ago, movemeon hosted a start-up event to bring together a number of CXOs/founders/entrepreneurs for a few drinks to share stories, successes, and problems. After talking to a number of the attendees it became really clear how many problems were presented by a growing a business. With the discussion running along the theme of recruiting, I was surprised at how much company culture cropped up as a common problem.
Developing and maintaining a successful culture for your company may seem like one of a thousand tasks to complete as a new CEO. However, it is one of the most important ongoing responsibilities for any business leader. If you look at some of the largest, most successful start-ups, a good culture has always been a mainstay (e.g. Google, Airbnb, Twitter).
Keeping a valuable, strong company culture as you grow comprises of more than just introducing more beanbags, free snacks, and a table tennis table. So here are a few tips to help you preserve your workplace culture.
1. Set out your values and review them often
Believe it or not, a good company culture isn’t something that just develops on its own. As a founder, you need to ask yourself AND your employees what is most important to them and the future of the company. It is essential that these values are discussed as a team, and that you review them as often as possible to make sure they are always relevant. At movemeon, we review ours twice a year – giving all newcomers a chance to influence them. Also try marking your company goals against them, making it a more ingrained part of your growth.
2. Be transparent
Try and constantly make sure that your vision is aligned with your employees’ view. Whilst it is important that you lead the company in the direction you see best, you must always take into account the vision of your employees. Having misaligned goals can lead to disillusionment, employees not feeling trusted, and feeling like they are not part of a team. Furthermore, be sure to share leadership’s feelings of excitement and talk about your aims and milestones (and most importantly, celebrate those achievements!)
3. Employee growth & development
Personal development will be a number one priority for most employees. A workforce that feels like they aren’t learning will quickly become unhappy. Personal development will be reflected in the growth of the company. It’s an absolute win-win for your company. What if you invest time and money and they still decide to leave? Ask yourself instead, what if you don’t and they decide to stay!
4. Have fun
Yes, a very clichéd end to the list, but it’s so important and can often be forgotten. We spend the large majority of our time working. Therefore, it is imperative for productivity and company growth that your team are happy and enjoy being in the workplace. You owe it to your employees to make them as satisfied as possible – they will replicate it in their work. I once spoke to a client who claimed that their social life was suffering because of work. ‘What a shame’ I said. Au contraire! They were having so much fun at work they didn’t want to go home at the end of the day. Now that’s advanced company culture!
At movemeon, we have monthly events organised by a team member (if anyone wants to challenge us to a bowling match, game on) and also have a team holiday to the Alps planned for summer. These are great ways to bring a team together and make work more fun.