There are obvious necessities that people think about when they are building a company. The endless conversations about resources the company needs to grow financially, how the product is developing and the forecasting of where the company will be in six months to a year. But one of the most important aspects of building a company that can often be overlooked is what your culture will look like. It can be difficult to try to establish this in the early stages, but building a foundation of culture can serve as a guideline for how the rest of the company will form. Here are a few tips on how to start building a successful culture:
Hire People You Like
This may seem a bit obvious, but a fantastic resume can often overshadow the person behind it. In most cases, especially start up world, more time is spent with your colleagues than anyone else. They are the people who will not only influence your day-to-day attitudes and activities, but could potentially be someone you will be partnered with for years to come. When going through the hiring process, ask yourself if this is someone you would enjoy spending time with even if you didn’t work together. If you genuinely like your colleagues, work will be a much more enjoyable place to be.
One of the first things people will tell you about personal relationships is that they are hard work; the same goes for professional relationships. They need to be developed and nurtured, or they will not progress. The easiest way to develop these relationships is spending time getting to know each other outside of the office. Learn about the interests of your colleagues and start participating! Someone is a hockey fan? Hit up the Rangers game as an office! Someone else is into ghosts? Go on a ghost tour together! These types of events will not only help you get to know each other but are also help to build the entire team into tight knit unit.
Communicate the Culture
You always want to make sure that everyone on the team is bought in to the culture you would like to build. The only way to do that is to have a clear idea of what is important to you and communicate it to your team. Each individual will have their own set of values and standards so it’s important to be on the same page. If you don’t have a basic set of guidelines (the image you want to give the clients, office dress code, what time you will start/end the day), you open the door for discrepancies. You are then building an office based on assumptions. It is almost guaranteed that all the business logistics of the company will be planned far in advance, so it is important to be transparent when planning expectations for culture as well.
The idea at any startup is for the organization to grow. There is sure to be long nights, successes and failures. Building a strong culture can prove to be the glue that holds everything together as you navigate the world of entrepreneurship.