I worked in a company for five years. In that time, it grew from around 100 employees to nearly 500. For a while, working there…
“I've worked at places that on the surface were cutting edge and seemed to have a really 'cool' company culture [but] that turned out to be fear and compliance based. And I've worked at places that were huge, enterprise-level places to work where I've had some great experiences.” - Elizabeth, Virtual Assistant ConsultantCulture is more than the perks and benefits your company offers; it’s more than your core value buzzwords; and it’s more than the actions of your brand. Your company culture is defined by the people who make up your company and strongly driven by your purpose as a brand. It’s not what you do, it’s why you do it—it’s the beliefs you hold as a brand that lead you to take those actions. Didier Elzinga of Culture Amp asked exactly the right question, “What do you want the experience of your people to be?”
“My company is moving and most of our employees have been here 25+ years, so things are still kind of stuck back in time. I forwarded this article to my Chairman as our new office needs to have a totally different culture than the one we presently have.” - Barbara, Executive AssistantChanging the culture of a company is hard. Really hard. 70% of culture-based initiatives fail. Natalie Baumgartner, Chief Psychologist at RoundPegg, knows why—they weren’t measured, managed, or monitored. In order to make a change, you need to understand your starting point and where you want to be. First, know the difference between your Aspirational Culture (the public values littered throughout your company’s mission statement) and your Actual Culture (the real core values held by the individuals who make up the company). Then, create a roadmap to bridge the gap between your Aspirational and Actual Cultures.
“When a new hire comes on board an email goes out to the department. I think everyone in the office is so busy with their day to day jobs that they don't take time to truly welcome people.” -Jennifer, Office ManagerCulture starts before a new employee’s first day—it starts with the candidate’s first interaction with your company. Pat Schoof, the VP of HR at Udemy, recommends making sure all candidates leave their interviews with a positive impression and that impression is improved further with quick follow-up. Allow your company culture to shine and you’ll attract candidates whose personal values are a match for the culture you have built and are continuing to shape. Ellen Leanse, an alum of Apple and Google, suggests hiring for “care.” Find out what your candidates care about, what they’re passionate about, and you’ll gain a deeper understanding of what motivates them and how those values match up with your own company culture. Culture is a living part of every company and if that culture doesn’t align with its people, you’re going to end up with a lot of disengaged employees, unable to realize their full potential. Culture never goes away. At OfficeNinjas, we’ll continue to share insights into the important role of culture in the workplace and how you can shape it into something truly sustainable. What’s the culture like in your office?