As soon as someone Googles your company, enters your building, or experiences any other interaction with your organization, they form an idea of your office culture—for better or worse. A good office culture is absolutely crucial to economic success, innovation, and attracting top talent. Here's how to build yours.
As soon as someone Googles your company, enters your office building, or experiences any other interaction with your organization, they form an idea of your culture—for better or worse. A good office culture is absolutely crucial to economic success, innovation, and attracting top talent.
Fortunately, you have a lot of control over your office culture, and ultimately your company’s brand. Designing and curating your office culture impacts everything from the daily activities in the office to how outsiders (including consumers) see your company.
Office culture is defined by the personality of your office. Either you intentionally drive the direction of that culture, or it will inadvertently develop on its own. There are many ways to define and shift office culture, from the policies you establish (such as dress codes, and vacation policies) to your online presence. All these seemingly insignificant aspects of your company will affect your overall culture, including attracting investors and determining your primary client or customer demographic.
Isn’t it about time you got cultured?
What does the culture of a company mean?
Determining what kind of culture your office has, or what you would like it to be, is just the first step. It’s also important to consider what the effect will be. Are you trying to attract a different type of customer or woo a particular investor? Have you released a product that you think has the capacity to take your office in another direction in terms of marketing, PR, and outreach? Are you getting ready to hire a rush of seasonal employees and want to ensure that you attract the best matches?
When you define company culture, you define who you are as a business.
Why is culture important in the workplace?
The culture of a company can play a major role in dictating every interaction you have, both externally and internally. This means that non-employees will likely make decisions based on your company culture.
However, employees will, too. They are familiar with an existing culture, but a company can shift their own employees’ vision of their environment—and work ethic—by changing the company culture.
Examples of Company Culture
Not sure where to start when it comes to re-designing company culture? You may need to start at the top. Here are a few examples of how company culture can be positively manipulated through every aspect of the business:
Company culture models management.
Employees naturally look to management to gauge the type of company they are a part of, the ethics of the company, and what type of culture they should be emulating. If your management isn’t showcasing the company culture you want, your employees won’t either. Examples include the fostering of groupthink at companies like Google, where whiteboards are everywhere and little “hubs” are all over campus to encourage working as a group.
The hiring process.
It’s just as important to hire employees with core values that align with your company’s as it is to hire those who have the right hard skills. Hire the candidates who are qualified and already have leanings towards the type of company culture you want to nourish—not the ones who just look good on paper.
Incentives can be a huge part of building company culture. For instance, offering free childcare, flexible schedules, or complimentary gym membership will all help attract better candidates while also showcasing what the company values are (and the culture). In our interview with Marc Prine, Ph.D in industrial organizational psychology, he says, “it’s creating the environment where people are incentivized in the right way; the process by which things are done is just as important as any output. That process builds culture.”
Office culture can be assessed and improved. In fact, it’s a constantly changing and evolving process. However, management can have a bit of tunnel vision. It’s a good idea to work with a third party company to assess current culture and help create a plan for a new and improved company culture– and we can help. Check out our employee handbook templates below! It offers over 20 customizable templates to help you build your own employee handbook and engage your workforce from day 1: