Have you ever heard the old cliché money can't buy happiness? Well, money can't buy company culture either. A company's culture grows organically, from the foundation you lay at the outset. If you start by carefully cultivating the kind of culture that motivates and inspires you, your company will begin to naturally flourish in the direction you want it to go. It will, of course, require frequent and deliberate pruning, but the rewards and fresh growth are well worth it.
First things, first.
Foster An Atmosphere of Joy and Fun
It's important for a workplace to be comfortable, as well as enjoyable. No one wants to come to work with colleagues they hate, and no one will give their best at a job they don't enjoy, in a place that isn’t comfortable.
Considering people spend a huge chunk of waking hours at their place of employment, you will only benefit by making sure your company is a fun place to be.
Yes, of course, the work itself is serious business, but it doesn't mean your workspace atmosphere has to be serious too 24/7. Give your people time and room to take a break, recharge, and connect with other team members. Connections build a sense of camaraderie, and people like feeling as though they are a part of something “more.”
Write Out Your Company Values
This can seem simple, but it’s important for you to put into words the kind of company culture you envision and the type of values your company stands for. So write them out, and refer to them often.
Heck, bullet point them and hang them on the walls of the office! Share them with new hires, and make sure your company values are communicated frequently and effectively by and for everyone that works for you, both in word and deed.
Be Picky About Talent You Bring In
Be protective of the atmosphere and culture you are trying to grow. Select new talent carefully, and make sure they will be a good fit for everyone. You only want to bring in people that share your company’s vision and can contribute positively to its growth.
No one likes a Negative Nelly and no one wants to work with people who are only interested in punching a time card and collecting a check. Excitement is contagious and you want every person you bring into the family to be excited to be there and committed to the cause, whatever that may be.
Empower Your People
People are most invested in things they help to create. CEOs and leadership teams: equip your employees to create, innovate and problem-solve without you being there, and let them drive (to some degree at least) the direction of your company’s culture themselves, without you micromanaging every aspect. Trust and empower them, and watch them blossom in whatever field you’ve planted them in. Yes, you could be involved in every single thing related to your business, but is it healthy?
The reality is if a company is given a solid foundation, pointed in a deliberate and thoughtful direction, given creative freedom and space a company’s culture, over time, emerges and evolves naturally. And trust us, organic company culture is worth infinitely more than mere dollars, and it definitely can’t be bought.