3 ways to achieve your company culture goals.
- Ensure everyone is aware of their impact on the company culture
- Make sure your team is full of people who are as passionate as you are
- Invest in your people – they are your biggest asset.
One of our goals for the perfect company culture? Make our team the very best – the smartest, healthiest, happiest people you’ll ever meet. That’s why this year at 3 SIDED CUBE we have a specific mission: we want to C.U.B.Excellent (See You Be Excellent… get it?).
But before we get into culture ideas, let’s cover the basics.
What does 'Company Culture' actually mean?
Put simply, workplace culture is the result of a bunch of influencing factors. Working environment, projects, company values, management styles… the list goes on, but the ultimate influencer is the individuals that you employ.
And what on earth is 'Head of Culture'?
My role as Head of Culture is a combination of HR, event planning, L&D, and recruitment. Ultimately, the reason I’m here is to help ensure that each and every member of our team enjoys coming to work in the morning. I know, right? Not the easiest task!
Some people may be more responsible than others for keeping the culture on track – the communication styles and decisions made by our Management Team has a big influence.
Still, EVERYBODY is accountable for making the culture what it is. But why is it so important that our employees are happy?
Your employees impact your business goals.
The people you employ need to share your ambitions and possess as much enthusiasm as you do for achieving your business goals. Our company mission is ‘to change millions of lives on a global scale with our technology solutions’.
Translated from business-talk to English, it means that we build apps for good causes to help people in need.
This is no easy feat, so we need the very best developers, designers, project managers etc. on the case. Putting a group of smart people in the room doesn’t mean you will automatically achieve that mission though. You need the right people for your company culture because if you get that right, you can achieve amazing things.
How can you tell if people are the best fit for your company culture?
Your company values are like guidelines for picking a team of like-minded individuals, so hire people with similarly aligned morals. We recruit people based on values, cultural team fit and their skills – in that order.
You can have as many values as you like (between five and ten is the usual). Some companies use values as a way to externally display their beliefs in how they work, but ours define the kind of people we need in order to produce the kind of work we want. Here’s a list of our values at 3 SIDED CUBE;
In other words, FAPID (don’t google that, by the way). If people have the right attitude towards learning and are driven to succeed, they will easily learn the skills required to flourish in their role and take pride in their work. If they seem like a good fit for the team, we know that they are going to make friends, enjoy working here and get the most out of each day. Talk about creating a cool office culture.
How do we engage our employees?
Having the smartest people with the ideal values means nothing if they aren’t engaged, or at the very least planning on getting married someday (just kidding). Neither does the provision of fantastic learning opportunities and perfectly mapped-out career paths. But how do you engage all of your employees, all of the time? It’s no piece of cake.
I believe there are 4 pillars of engagement:
Ensure everybody is regularly recognised for their efforts, offer every team similar opportunities and never show that one person is more important to the company than the other.
Inclusion is my personal focus. If a workplace is becoming too “cliquey”, put a stop to it. Immediately. As a company grows and diversifies, inclusion can become more difficult, but remember that isolation at work is the quickest way to disengage someone.
Everyone is engaged and focused on the company mission... What now?
Go the extra mile. Send your employees to conferences so they can expand their knowledge and meet people with the same interests, buy them a high-spec laptop, give them time to work on something they are passionate about (see our Innovation Time projects), host knowledge-sharing sessions and organise team activities.
An example of how to encourage employees to learn: Android Dev Tim talks through using Computer Vision to Build a Lego schedule board.
A few company culture ideas.
We understand that personal wellbeing comes first, so we focus on a different aspect of it each month.
January was all about kicking off the year with some healthy habits – smoothies and daily five-minute fitness challenges giving us all a boost as well as washboard abs (we wish). We finished the month with a hilarious game of bubble football to continue the physical wellbeing theme.
February focused on strengthening and building new and existing friendships.
We did some simple team building activities, including a spaghetti tower challenge, a scavenger hunt around our local area and cupcake decorating – ending the month learning some ridiculous circus skills.
Nothing improves teamwork like helping your colleague ride a unicycle or cheer them on as they walk across a tightrope!
We recognise that money troubles are often the cause of diminishing mental wellbeing…
That’s why March was all about boosting everyone’s financial know-how ahead of the new tax year (woohoo, how exciting!). We invited a financial adviser to come and get us all clued-up on the basics of mortgages, pensions and savings. Happy finances, happy…mind.
Bad company culture is detrimental to the achievement of your company mission and goals. I’m constantly reading books and articles, attending conferences and seminars and learning about ways we can improve the culture at CUBE.
I’d love to hear your opinions, ideas and ways you manage or contribute to the culture in your company – please drop me a tweet @3SIDEDCUBE.