Developing a company culture in a new business may seem fairly clear in the beginning. You have a defined outlook on how the flow of your business should be and the future goals you want to set. But now fast forward five, ten, twenty years. Assuming your company has now grown to a larger scale, has it also held true to the company culture that made it prosper at the beginning? Maintaining a brilliant startup culture is what keeps businesses alive; and definitely what keeps employees wanting to stay there for the long haul. Because change in a company is always inevitable if you want growth, below are some useful tips for sustaining a great startup culture.
Remember Where You Came From
Most businesses have a group of core values or a defined mission statement that is set pretty early on in the company profile. New employees are expected to know this information, but why is this really important? Core values set the foundation for any decision you will make, because they are the life of the company. As businesses evolve, sometimes employees may feel lost in a company's world of changes. Remembering your company's core values will help you get back to the basics and remind you why you chose to work at your company in the first place.
Diversity Generates Fresh Ideas
If you continue to hire people with the exact same personality type and mindset as yourself, eventually you may hit a wall with ideas. Having different types of people in your company with various backgrounds and experiences shakes up the traditional way of thinking. With that being said, always maintain that anyone you hire understands the mission of the company and shares the common goals of current employees: to make your business the best it can be. Hiring someone that approaches decision-making differently than most, but poses a negative attitude overall is not someone you want spoiling the company energy.
Keep Positive Vibes
This tip seems the easiest to understand, but perhaps, hardest to implement. No matter your role within a company, it's extremely imperative to keep the good juju abundant. With growth and transition, there comes growing pains and as any successful company knows, these growing pains are usually unavoidable. There will definitely be days when it may feel like everything is going awry, but as the old saying goes "It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters". As a company leader, regardless of daily happenings, you must always keep the moral high and insure that the growing pains will be worth it.
Focus More on Results, Less on Social Skills
What really is the ideal personality? That would vary depending on who you ask. Admiring hard work rather than devaluing a worker based on a personality-type is very important. Your IT guy may be the shy, non-social one at the company picnic, but he's a dedicated, hard-worker who genuinely cares about doing his job to the best of his ability. Sometimes it is possible for clicks to form with a company based on personality type; and while there is absolutely nothing wrong with having office friendships, as a leader or supervisor, do not lose focus. Your main objective in the office is acknowledging employee accomplishments.
Always Remain Open
Open communication. Open-door policy. Open floor plan. The larger a company grows, the more distant employees may start to feel from each other. A coworker feeling isolated in the office is the last thing you want to happen, so first: maintain that close-net feeling you once had through the growth of your company. Cubicles can feel like cages, so keep the floor layout open to encourage collaboration and quick feedback. Secondly, meetings should never be the only time employees feel like they can fully express themselves. Managers and supervisors should make themselves available outside of pre-set meetings, because, well, people aren't robots. Ideas, issues or general questions could occur at any moment. Whether you have 12 employees or 120, open communication should always be welcomed.
Walk A Mile In A Customer's Shoes
MediCopy's first core value is that "the patient is #1". Without your customers, where would we be as a company? While you may be the expert at what you do, always remain humble when it comes to your customers. Most of them have no idea how your business is run and the way your workflow is implemented. The key objective is remembering the your two-hundredth customer must be treated with the exact quality and care as your very first customer. Happy customers, successful businesses.
- Allison Stejskal, Business Development Executive