Most startup companies pride themselves on their culture. We hear tech entrepreneurs talk about "Corporate culture" all the time. Truth is, most companies, new or old have an internal culture, the way we do things. Much like an individual, company cultures are developed over a long period of time. Corporate cultures, especially in a startup company can be precise and deliberately implemented from the top down.
In other words, if you are the Founder / CEO of a company, you have the power to make, mold and mend the culture of your company how you see fit. In the construct of a truly reflective, productive company culture there are key elements to infuse to ensure the plan or idea stays on the right path.
Foundation: Tony Hsieh On Building A Great Company Culture
In this article, I will share 3 key tips to help build the company culture you desire.
Webster's defines values as:A a person's principles or standards of behavior; one's judgment of what is important in life. With some hard work, your startup can personify and espouse the standards of behavior you hold dear. One of the major starting points to instilling a homogeneous value system in your company is the recruiting process.
Be sure to hire folks who share your values to begin with, this way a deceleration and practice of a common value system will not be stretch for all parties involved. For example, if one of your company's value statement is that you put your customers first, then hire folks who tend to display deep empathy for others and truly get a kick out of solving other people's problems.
Even though the leadership team at your startup, at this point may consist of only you, it is important to set standards and practices to follow. It helps to clearly define a set of rules of conduct for yourself at the office to help set the best example for the rest of your employees.
Put your company culture into practice and on display every day for your team to witness. Put your money where your mouth is. If you state "putting people first" as one of your value pronouncements, then show this everyday. Your employees will naturally do as you do and not so much what you say.
This is one of those elements of the workplace that at first will seem intimidating to your employees. Most people fear accountability, they see it as a long-term threat to their employment and all that benefits that come with maintaining said employment. However you can work to take the fear out of accountability by clearly defining what "Accountability" means at your company.
Do you punish people for missteps? or do you simply coach employees and hold them accountable for the results of their actions including recognizing them for a job well done? Help your team evolve to see accountability as "I stand by my work" as opposed to " I will get fired for this".