Corporate culture is often talked about, but what is it really? I think of it as a combination of values, beliefs, and attitudes that when put together create an environment that is overall happy and productive. A healthy culture is one where employees are encouraged to grow, and experience increased levels of satisfaction, commitment, and engagement. Employees are more likely to contribute to the overall organization performance when they exhibit these traits.
Companies of all sizes and stages can find it difficult to develop and maintain a healthy corporate culture. It cannot be forced; it starts by recruiting and hiring employees whose values align with those of your organization. Once you have the right people, you can start to create an environment that is more conducive to a healthy corporate culture.
Some examples of culture-building practices that we have implemented here at Porpoise are reward/recognition based. We want our office to be a space where people feel valued and recognized. For this reason we have put initiatives in place like team lunches, a ping pong table, and paid volunteer days. We also want to show our employees that we care about their growth and development. For instance, if one of our team members shows an interest in learning or improving upon a new skill, we will give them the time they need to attend a conference or seminar.
Other examples of culture building practices that we focus on are collaboration based. These include practices that bring employees together and build a team-oriented environment, where employees are working together to achieve a common goal. Working less in a confined space and more as a group creates a collaborative environment. One of the advantages of being a startup is that we are able to fit at one-table and share ideas. We built our office around a long table where we work together. We also often take time to work outside the office at local cafes; change in environment is often welcome and increases creative thinking. Another ritual that we value is our “Morning round up”. During the round up everyone states what they did yesterday, what they plan to do today, and what they need from the team. Whether it is short or long, we always make time for this meeting because it keeps us on track.
These are just a few examples of how you can shape your office culture. Want to get a better idea of what your corporate culture is like? Hagberg Consulting Group developed a 5-question survey that, once answered, will provide an idea of your organizations culture.
How would you answer the following questions?
- What 10 words would you use to describe your company?
- Around here what is really important?
- Around here who gets promoted?
- Around here what behaviors get rewarded?
- Around here who fits in and who doesn't?
Here at Porpoise we strive to maintain a positive corporate culture that makes work rewarding, fulfilling, and exciting. We care so much about it that we have developed Porpoise as a tool to help companies shape their culture and do great things.