Company culture defines your company as much as your products and services. Many small businesses are faced with the problem of maintaining company culture as they grow in scale. As you expand and open new offices culture can quickly become an aspect that gets thrown on the back burner and something employees remember as the “good ole days”. The good news if this has been happening in your company there are many ways to bring the culture back to help your company feel renewed and inspired. Here are a few ways:
Base your company culture on a tradition that is easily replicated
In order for a tradition to work it has to be replicated easily in any space where it is instilled. While small you may start a tradition of going to the local bagel shop for breakfast every first Friday of the month, however this bagel shop won’t be in the next city where your company expands. Create a tradition of bringing bagels into the office from everyone’s favorite local shop. That way you still are creating a culture of inclusivity, supporting local small businesses and keeping the workplace a happier space. It’s the people performing the tradition that matter, not where you perform it.
Understand the culture outside of your company
A business model that works in the United States may need to undergo major adjustments when applied to a foreign culture, such as Japan. Each culture has its own unique methods and strategies that work best for them. Cater to those to help your business succeed. When hiring at your new location keep that in mind as well. Culture is going to be in a constant state of change. Make sure to include everyone and keep the local culture incorporated with your company’s to achieve the most success.
Recognize employee achievements
When employees feel their work is valued they are more likely to thrive. There are many benefits to this such as fostering loyalty, increased satisfaction, and increased work ethic. Work should be a place where employees feel comfortable and happy, not a place they dread being. Examples to help recognize employees could include recognizing birthdays and work anniversaries. Showing your employees you are aware and value their contributions goes a long way. Small recognitions can be more effective than one big reward.
Be available and approachable
Employees should feel comfortable enough to make suggestions for improvements or to voice a complaint. Having a tight-knit community in the workplace makes feedback easier to get and more effective. If an employee feels their concerns are being met they are more likely to stay with a company and contribute to the team more often. Plus it shows people that you genuinely care. A good way of doing this is to have an open door policy or have weekly, casual team meetings with fun icebreakers or food.
Communicate your values during the hiring process
One of the best way to preserve company culture is to hire carefully. New hires should, of course, be qualified, but also fit well in your company’s culture and community. A good way to ensure you hire the right people is to interview in a team setting. This sets the impression that you are a team in all aspects of the business and new employees can see the dynamic from the moment they step in the room. Transparency is key.