We have all been there before. The weekend is over, it’s Monday morning and the existential dread sinks in. It’s time to go back to work. But it doesn’t have to be like this. We spend 40 hours or more a week at our jobs, so why not work in a place where you don’t just enjoy the work, but also the people and the environment. Every job has a certain amount of stress involved, but the culture of the office should relieve and not accentuate that stress.
The Benefits Of Cultivating A Rewarding Company Culture
There are many benefits to cultivating a rewarding company culture:
- The reputation of a good company culture can attract new clients and new employees.
- It can help relieve burnout and help alleviate the intensity of fast paced and complex project.
- Most of all, a good company culture can help a team work better as a holistic unit rather than as individuals who work in silos.
- Culture helps to sustain employee enthusiasm.
A good company culture does not have to happen in situations where there is just one personality type across the team. In fact, our team in full of introverts and extroverts, people who enjoy outdoor activities, people who enjoy biking, people that enjoy travel. When I think about it, none of us are very similar to one another other than our common ground of wanting to work in an enjoyable and rewarding environment.
Here are a few things that we have learned as we have developed the culture at Lofty Labs:
Tips for Developing Strong Company Culture
1. Hire People Who Fit Your Culture
It’s common for companies to be faced with the choice between hiring someone who is a perfect fit for on paper, and someone who doesn’t meet experience requirements, but seems to be an excellent culture fit.
I’ve heard it said several times before that “you can’t teach culture fit”. Ultimately, it’s much better to hire for the culture fit than to hire someone purely based on their skillset.
One bad hire can affect not only the hire’s morale, but the morale of the entire team. Here at Lofty Labs, we incorporate what I believe is the most important phase to the hiring process. We have the potential hire come and spend a few hours with our team. We expect to be spending every day with this hire and it gives us a little taste of what that would be like. We have lunch and talk about both life and work. From this meeting we all get together and talk about how we believe the hire would fit with our team. This gives the team, and candidate, the opportunity to decide how we feel about one another.
2. Transparency and Strong Communication
The goal is for all employees to feel they know the thinking, responsibilities, and strategy at various levels of the company and can share ideas and feedback no matter who they are.
Sometimes as companies begin to grow transparency becomes lost and the employees begin to feel disassociated from the organization as a whole. Employees go to work, do what they’re told, and just help someone else achieve their dream. The employee's impact on the business is minimal (or not seen by them) and they become “just another employee, at just another company.”
To the same end, if a leader is the only one that knows about a company’s successes and failures, they miss out on the potential to celebrate or gain support from the team.
3. Realizing You’re a Team and Not a Bunch of Individuals
The difference between being a team and just a bunch of individuals is that the individuals see themselves as separate from each other. Helping others is forced because you normally operate on your own projects, or your own part in a larger project.
Teams work together on all work related projects and help where necessary. It doesn’t matter who gets credit for what because you accomplish everything together. You’re knit together, not separated.
4. Have Fun
Having fun can look different to different teams. Go out and celebrate the wins together. Celebrate birthdays together. Have lunch as a team. But more than that, create an environment where you can joke through the hard times as a team. Where when things are tense, you can still laugh together and get things done. Create an environment of comfort, which is much different than complacency. Comfort meaning that everyone feels at ease being themselves and expressing themselves individually to the team.
A company culture that facilitates employee happiness means lower turnover and better company performance. And when a business is more productive, that means it is working faster. When it works faster, it can get a leg up on the competition and exceed client expectations. From the minute people walk in the office, they should know that “this” is a different kind of place with a unique culture.