Far too often, companies in search of a cultural identity try to create or inspire it by adding something fun or hip to their office. Something that only instills the wow factor, instead of what matters most - the intangibles.
Sean shares some culture intangibles that will create a company wide culture buy-in that outlasts any physical items or office space.
Don’t get me wrong - I’m not saying you should ditch the ping pong table, arcade machine or that kitchen loaded with snacks. Instead, I’m suggesting that you use these physical items to re-enforce the intangible factors that create a sustainable and scalable culture. Below are some of these intangibles, that will create a culture that outlasts any physical items or office space.
It all starts from the top and trickles down. Your leadership team should be leading by example, and should be the champions of your culture. When you put culture at the forefront of your decisions and actions, it allows the whole team to get behind what you are trying to accomplish. Leadership should inspire, cultivate and exemplify your culture! Frankly, the following points aren’t possible without this.
Your employees should not only feel that they are set up for success, but that they can take any challenge head on. This means not only having the support of the team behind them, but the tools needed to win. By empowering your team, you allow them to go above and beyond.
Transparency builds trust, and ultimately allows everyone to stop focusing on unknowns and focus solely on the tasks at hand. In the absence of knowledge, uncertainty and false perceptions grow. Keep your team on the same page, and a constant line of communication open and ready.
This is that “family feel” that companies talk about. This is the bond that makes work go from a job to something much more valuable. It’s very powerful to belong to a team that is all pulling from the same side of the rope, motivated by one another to strive for more. If you are looking to improve this, start by creating more opportunities for barriers to be broken. Host company events, outings or charitable events as a team.
Innovation is a HUGE component to culture. It’s what gets people excited about going into work every day. Whether you’re building products that are disrupting a market or the tech they’re using is cutting edge, employees want to feel like they are leaving their fingerprints on change. You should create an environment that fosters this, and is constantly challenging the status quo to improve!
At the end of the day, if what you’re doing is not genuine, it won’t last. People will not buy in, and you’ll just be left with a ping pong table collecting dust. Going back to the leadership team, it all starts there and continues on to the people you bring on board. Look for people that are not only authentic themselves, but value it in the companies that they work for. Keep it real, and keep it human!
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Sean leads the People, Culture, and Partnership efforts at Ytel. After almost 5 years of agency recruiting, Sean decided to move into an internal recruiting role, where he could have more of a direct effect on growth and people’s lives That’s when he met Ytel and the rest is history. Sean is a huge believer in culture, and puts an emphasis on people and building relationships.