Company Culture:

…it’s the mojo you’re missing

What is company culture? It seems that today, in the midst of the booming startup industry, “culture” has become a buzzword that directly correlates to success. Well, that’s sort of true; in so much as your company culture has a great influence on business.

Do your employees feel welcome at work? Are they happy? Do they want to do their best for you? I’ve worked in many different “offices” from a dusty garage to a stuffy 6th floor in a skyscraper, and a few places in between. My happiness wasn’t determined by location; it was always about my peers and the atmosphere of the working environment.

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I worked for a real ass in that dusty office. He only talked to me a few times a day, and calling it talking is generous. It was more like a bark: “finish this report in an hour”, “no lunch today, I need you to get my dry cleaning” (I wasn’t even an intern). Think Lumbergh from Office Space, Gary Cole’s character, with the same amount of despise-able attributes, but with the addition of an affinity for yelling. After 2 weeks, my self-confidence was completely drained and all I had to show for my work was a sweaty, acne-covered face and 10 pounds on my gut. When I wasn’t on the verge of tears, I was weighing the pluses of hiring a hitman. Turns out assassins are quite expensive, so I quit instead.

Working for a startup out of a garage made me feel like some kind of prodigy, like I was the next Jobs or Gates, but I’m not and neither were my co-workers. Sure, they were coding geniuses, but they were lazy. I didn’t sign up to babysit, so I left them to flounder away on their own, which they did.

A great company culture isn’t the saving grace for a failing company, nor is it the key to what makes successful companies great. Culture is a supplement like that protein shake you drink or that fish oil pill you take; it’s just a piece of the puzzle. Here are a few ideas to help develop that culture that you want for you business:

  1. Leadership is key in establishing great culture. Bring together a team of all-stars who share your vision and let them lead! Go ahead and give them a little space because their leadership is going to set a tone, which will translate into culture.
  2. How is your company structured? Is the most important department of your business getting the attention and credit it deserves? Reorganize your company hierarchy accordingly.
  3. Take time for an offsite! This is much more than a meeting and shouldn’t deal with menial daily tasks. This is a forum to plan for the future. Gather the heads of your company and get away. Yeah, it’s going to cost money, but really it’s an investment in the future of your business. Don’t underestimate the offsite!
  4. Prioritize and communicate! Decide what you really need for your product and your customers and collaborate as a team to set a plan into motion. Four people working together will outperform one talented person any day. And the more opinions the better! Create some cultural values, and explicitly and continuously communicate them internally and externally.

Hit all 4 of these points and watch your culture form up seemingly out of no where. Set your company up as a place where people want to work, and the rest will follow. Trust me, it’s working for ZeeBlu! Get at us on Twitter @ZeeBluMarketing or at +ZeeBlu. We’d love to hear your thoughts on company culture!

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