If you treat your employees well, the talent will come… and stay.
Build a company before it builds itself. What does that mean? Make the company culture a priority to prevent a culture that you don’t want. How do you do this? You set the guidelines and promote the values, so they are evident in not only your handbooks but every single talent that is hired.
For many entrepreneurs, great company culture is one that is fun, lively, modern, and youthful. With foosball tables, ping pong tables, an endless supply of La Croix and not to mention comfortable sofas, some company’s visual appeal is hard to turn away from. At adQuadrant, we’ve got all of that. But we also recognize that you can’t just talk the talk; a great company culture is far deeper than surface level interior elements. It’s all about the people.
If you’re starting a business, make sure to find values of your own, but don’t disregard these 7 rules.
1. Have Faith in the People You Hire
Any great relationship that has the potential to withstand the test of time involves trust. If you want to be trusted, you must trust. Treating your employees like they have earned their right to be there and then giving them space to actually perform without oversight, micromanaging, or helicopter parenting is monumental. The right person will take this treatment and run with it. If you’re worried they’ll make a mistake, well, you’re not a true entrepreneur. No mistake is completely unrecoverable. Give direction, set guidelines, and let them be. In return, they will trust you back.
2. Allow your Employees the Opportunity to Know Each Other
You can’t expect the trust to be there right off the bat. There needs to be time to get to know one another and hopefully like each other. This goes far beyond the quarterly events, occasional outings, and even weekly out of the office happy hours. The chance to mingle needs to be woven into the day-to-day life of your business. Find ways to incorporate holidays, create traditions, and engage in the community together. This can mean an annual company cook-off or Tough Mudder event because who wouldn’t want to run 12 miles in mud for charity? A little company competition never hurt anyone, especially when it’s for charity.
3. Only Nice People Allowed
This can’t be stressed enough. Hiring people purely based on skill will not benefit you in the long run. Just like there’s nothing worse than a beautiful person with an awful personality, there’s nothing more heartbreaking to a company’s dynamic than a skillful person with subpar attitude. Hire nice people that can fit in with the culture, get along with their new coworkers, and enhance the workplace energy. Hiring people that have a proven work ethic and are ambitious, perform well professionally AND personally. After all, skills can be acquired over time, but when you’re a jerk, you’re a jerk.
4. Create a lively space
Creating a great culture doesn’t mean throwing a few desks and computers into a room. It’s so much more than that. We all know that our external environment influences our thought process. Decluttering your desk can calm the mind, and create a fun environment can get the juices flowing. A creative corner, comfortable living room area, and themed meeting rooms are all ways to keep the environment fun and lighthearted. Creating a cool space will most likely attract people who value the kind of culture you’re going for.
5. Build Your Employees Up
It would be incredibly naïve to think and assume your employees will stay with you forever. A great boss knows this, and as much as they want their employees to be valuable contributors to the company, they also hope each person has a bit of their own entrepreneurial ambitions as well. So, it’s important to encourage this growth and build them up. Once there is a trusting, collaborative relationship, your employees should feel able to bring their ideas to the table and own it. Hire people that don’t see their career as just a job and then build them up to be innovators, making a mark wherever they go.
6. Take Care of Them
Whatever your love language may be, taking care of your people sometimes means giving them stuff. Free stuff. That means acknowledging they’ve lost an hour to Daylight Savings and treating everyone to their favorite coffee beverage. Granting them a free catered lunch once a week so that they have one less day to worry about making or buying a meal. Fill up their cup so they can fill up yours.
Communicate with your employees what matters to you most. This goes far beyond processes, workflow, and job descriptions. Make sure there is no grey area when it comes to your values and how this needs to be implemented in every sale, meeting, client facing issue, anything!
Along with that, be authentic, transparent, and at times vulnerable. If an employee isn’t doing well, have a meaningful conversation on ways in which they can improve. That being said, when an employee does well, celebrate! Lay everything out on the tables so thoughtful conversations can happen.
Creating a great company culture doesn’t happen overnight, in fact, it can take a lot of time. Just remember, “company culture is the driving ethos behind customer-facing impact and quality of work. Now more than ever, culture must be prioritized by leaders in all decision making to drive sustainable growth and achieve market leadership” -Warren Jolly.