Whether you’re in the process of growing your company or just thinking about starting one, creating a strong culture should be a top priority. In fact, a recent study showed that 91% of executives believe that improving company culture would increase the value of their company. And while prioritizing culture is important from the very beginning, maintaining that culture can be challenging once your company starts to grow. So, what’s the best way to scale your company while keeping culture top of mind? Having a core set of values, focusing on culture fit and staying open to feedback from your team are some key ways to ensure that your culture is able to grow along with your business.
Here are some things to keep in mind as you think about scaling your company.
Have a well-defined set of company values
Strong cultures are built on strong values and outlining yours early on can make a big difference as you establish your company. The first step in figuring out your core values is to sit down with your leadership team and identify what distinguishes your company and makes it unique. Start by making a list of five to 10 phrases that define your company, focusing on things like passion, integrity and your company mission. Then, narrow that list down to what you believe the core values to be, ensuring that you still have a comprehensive list at the end. Once you’ve outlined your values, share them with your full team and get their feedback on how they feel the values represent your company. Since this is an iterative process, be open to making changes and ensure that the final set of values is something the full team can stand behind. Then, work on living those values in your day-to-day work and make them a part of your team meetings and overall company culture.
Screen for culture fit with every new employee
Developing a great culture is something to be proud of, but making sure that you’re able to maintain that culture with every new hire can be challenging. The best way to do this successfully is by prioritizing culture fit at every point of the hiring and onboarding process — from the initial phone screen to the first few weeks of an employee’s tenure. Start by outlining your company’s values during your initial conversation with a candidate and be sure to ask questions designed to assess culture fit during the interview. Once you’ve identified a candidate who aligns with your values and seems like a great addition to your team, help them get a better sense of your company culture by connecting them with other team members on their first day and helping them get integrated quickly. In addition to making them feel welcome, this will allow them to see the role that culture plays in your company’s day-to-day life and how those values are brought to bear on the business.
Seek out feedback from your team
One of the keys to having a healthy culture is being able to adapt as your company grows. This is where staying flexible and listening to feedback is important. Although some of your core values may stay the same as your company grows from a team of five to a team of 500, others will inevitably change and staying open to those changes will allow you to scale in a way that allows you to preserve the most important aspects of your culture. Creating a feedback-friendly culture and checking in with your employees through meetings and anonymous surveys are great ways to ensure that you’re getting accurate, honest feedback you can implement. Above all, it’s important to seek out feedback on a regular basis, especially if your company is scaling at a fast pace.
Having a healthy company culture can be a great asset to your business. In addition to keeping employees engaged and reducing turnover, it can also make a big difference in how fulfilled team members feel within their roles and to overall company productivity. By setting the stage for a great culture from the outset and developing a growth mindset for your team, you can ensure that you’re able to preserve a great culture as your company continues to scale.
Want to improve your recruiting strategy? Learn why exit interviews could be one of your most powerful recruiting tools and why you need to accept applicant feedback at every step of the hiring process.