Question: What is one best tip you have for maintaining a strong work culture as your company grows?
Be First to Arrive and Last to Leave
"There is no substitute for hard work and everyone will look to the leader as an example. Employees should know that no matter how hard they work, there is always someone working harder."
Show the ROI of Transparency and Trust Needs
"Find ways to measure how transparency and trust flow within your organization. Whether it's through your employee survey or through leadership interactions, keeping your pulse on this thread will help leaders be more connected to the culture, and the people more connected to the organizations' own values and goals."
Have an Out-of-Office Team Building
"A strong work culture requires that everyone gels together. After-work dinners or activities are a great way to help build the strength of your team. An activity like bowling is great because it's competitive -- create a team of competitors that wants to win and work well together and you will be unstoppable."
Create Core Values and Highlight People Who Live Up to Them
"Once you've defined your company's core values (hopefully through a collaborative vs. top-down process), it's important to reiterate them constantly rather than just filing them away in a drawer where they never see the light of day. At our weekly meeting -- called the Hired Huddle -- we highlight core value leaders in the organization and give them the recognition they deserve."
Get to Know Your Employees
"Making yourself personally accessible to your employees will help keep your company culture strong. Although it's hard to maintain personal relationships with a large group of people, you can at least commit to remembering their first names. Ask them about their lives with genuine interest and active listening. Socialize with them and you'll have an open, respectful, positive company culture."
Host Group Meals
"As structured departments begin to form within your startup, it is easy for function-level groups to become insular. Marketing only talks with sales but rarely interacts with engineering; finance huddles with company executives but no one else. To avoid that sort of behavior, teams should regularly interact -- and quality food always helps."
Get Employees Involved in Shaping Culture
"As a business grows, the culture inevitably changes very quickly. In order to keep up with changing personalities, we chose to get our employees involved in what our culture would be. Each month one employee is selected to our rotating Culture Captain position. This person is in charge of shaping the month. From Funky Friday dress-up days to happy hours, our employees constantly create our culture."
"Conduct weekly one-on-one check-ins with employees rather than yearly reviews. It takes some extra time and energy but keeps the team focused and feeling valued."
Send Team Members on "Dates"
"Everyone on our team gets assigned a "date" with two people a month. It's a form of cross-pollinating that helps abate cliques, creates personal bonds and lets team members know one another beyond the day-to-day business setting. People who love the people they work with want to stay with those people, and a collective of people who trust and enjoy one another is the backbone of culture. "