Building a world-class company culture is imperative in today’s world. However, it should always come after creating a world-class product. Initially, all that matters is coming up with something great and long-lasting. It is only then that culture can put forth its influence on people by directing them to behave in a specific manner.
When the company is in an inchoate state with very few people, founders, CEOs and first employees can sit and talk through every decision together. The problems at this stage are simpler, the messages clearer. There’s much less uncertainty about what’s essential and how to deal with things. The culture quotient is embedded in the characters and morals of the group.
And then it suddenly changes and you wake up and no longer know the name or role of people working for you in the office. With more than 100 employees, it isn’t always comprehensible how to operate, converse and prioritize in this fast and vibrant milieu. The level of perspective that was shared at a point with 10 employees is never the same with 100.
When Culture Really Starts to Matters
When you start thinking of building a business, you should also start taking into consideration how you would get there. You cannot just let it happen on its own, but take charge of everything, and make it happen the way you want. Just the way you would be passionately involved in building the product, you need to do the same with culture.
With growth it becomes more difficult to communicate at the mass level, to get consent on every resolution or to build a course of action and method for everything. A sturdy and comprehensive culture can provide your workforce with the proper guidelines to work within.
Assign an Owner
According to Debasish Dutta, Managing Partner & Director (Projects) Orange Corp, Global, companies must assign a dedicated resource who will be directly responsible for culture. He will focus on culture and drive everyone towards the right way.
Leadership Sets Tone
The culture of a company is mostly shaped by its leaders. It is important for your leadership team to embody the brand you want to be. Teamwork culture is often regarded as the ideal. The executives must always work as a team.
“The leaders of a company must be transparent — even in situations that are tough. Prioritising customer success above all is a must for them,” shared Dutta.
Hold an Offsite
Apparently, it may appear to be a waste of time to pull your executives in 50 different places simultaneously. It is essential and believed to create a long-lasting impact. “Get individuals who epitomize the culture of your organisation and get their response to some very simple questions: What do you like most about our company culture? What is it that you would like to change like? What is culture to you and why do you think it is important to have one?,” suggested Raman Narula, Founder & MD, Formula Group.
However, the process will be cumbersome as questions will remain unanswered. There will be discrepancies. But remember, you are not going to define culture at offsite, but try and understand where you’re going, why and how to get there.
Prioritize and Focus
It is extremely rare to see a group of six who work as a team exude the same kind of passion. In most cases, it is that one individual who is brilliant at everything.
“What you need to do is to settle on what is good for your product and your customers, and then act accordingly. If needed, you must disagree with your customers. They are often unaware of their requirement, and their desires might not be in the best interest of your product,” counselled Vipul Jain, CEO, Advancells.
Communication is the crux of any company’s culture. One must be clear about the company’s values and culture, both at internal and external levels. People working with you must appreciate the culture of the organization. It is good to reward your workers who promote it. However, be candid and truthful with the ones who don’t.
In order to ensure that the culture of your company does not end up being a collection of hollow words, make communication a regular exercise. If done appropriately, the culture of your organisation will get infused into the workforce will be the advocates of your organisation’s work ethics.
“As your business gets on the growth path, the inherent culture will help keep it on trail, guide hiring processes to appoint resources who will preserve the success and uphold your business from degenerating into something you don’t identify — even if you no longer know the names of all your employees,” concluded Jain.