Becoming (Company) Cultured

Becoming (Company) Cultured

By Joe Bolick, Communications and PR Manager, UNI Business & Community Services

When you hear the term “company culture,” what comes to mind? Is it the famous nap pods at Google? Is it the fast paced cut-throat environments on Wall Street?  Is it the ping pong table in the break room at the ad agency up the street? Actually, it’s all of those and so much more. Here are 3 things that help create and grow a company culture for your business.

1. The right people

“Be true to yourself and surround yourself with positive, supportive people.”
-Payal Kadakia, CEO and Co-founder of ClassPass

While crafting a culture for your company, it is important that the culture you are trying to build takes into account the people you have working for you. This goes for future hiring as well. A great mantra to follow is that you are hiring people, not positions. While having the required skills and abilities to perform the job is very important, equally as important is that the new hire is also a “good fit” with the company. You can train someone to do a job, you cannot change someone’s innate nature as easily. For instance, if your business has more of a free-spirited and communal culture, hiring an introverted, buttoned-up and straight-laced professional might not be the best idea. Even if that person has the skills to perform the job at hand, they are probably never going to feel 100% comfortable in your organization.

2. Don’t try to be something you’re not

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Google has nap pods and they make a bazillion dollars every year so it must work, right? Not necessarily. The reason the nap pods work at Google is because that is who they are as a company. They also feed their employees breakfast, lunch and dinner plus a ton of other things that probably would bankrupt almost any other company. Google does this because they are a company that is very demanding of their employees and want them at the office for as long as possible, therefore they provide almost anything you would ever want to leave campus for, right there. If you are a company whose culture is focused on community involvement, instead of buying a pool table to kill time on breaks, maybe you should consider incentivizing volunteer work for your employees. When you hire individuals that fit your company’s culture, like I mentioned above, it becomes a lot easier for everyone to be comfortable and happy with your company.

3. Teamwork, teamwork, teamwork

“Great things in business are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people.”
-Steve Jobs

I personally cringe every time I see motivational posters on office walls. With that said, there is one that I see quite often that rings especially true: Together Everyone Achieves More. Nobody can do it all, even if some of us think we can, WE CAN’T! Encouraging teamwork among your employees will almost always yield better results. You’ve already hired the right people and they are comfortable with who your company is, right? All that’s left is encouraging collaboration and teamwork. This can be done by assigning teams or letting the group come up with teams themselves. You can also encourage and grow teamwork by conducting team building activities. By that I don’t mean going on a retreat with all of your employees and doing a bunch of “trust falls,” (unless that fits along with your company culture). Simply having a monthly potluck or a running lunchtime card game really can make a huge difference in team building.

While it may not seem all that intuitive, creating and maintaining a company culture can be very beneficial to your bottom line. The fact is that happy and engaged employees are more productive and your company’s culture is a huge factor in employee satisfaction and happiness. So good luck and enjoy your nap in your new pod.

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