The 4 most important things we did for our company culture

By Steph Von der Heyde | Culture

Aug 14
Men interviewing someone

It’s often the inconspicuous things that end up being the unsung heroes of company culture. Here are 4 that have worked really well for us, yet are so simple to implement.

Hiring Process

We hire for culture every bit as much as we hire for talent. Being a cultural fit is an absolute make-or-break and our hiring process is thorough and lengthy.

Keeping our culture front-of-mind before we let anybody into our company is critical – because the sociological (horribly named) ‘rotten apple’ theory is true: one bad cultural hire is more likely to affect the group negatively than the group are to have a positive effect on the one bad hire.

Integrated Values

We try to integrate our values into the everyday workflow – not just hang them on the wall and forget about them. For example:

  • Each week every person has to nominate a person in the company they felt embodied one of our 5 core values (results, simplicity, focus, growth, debate).
  • Each month, each employee rates themselves against each of our values, scoring themselves on how they feel they’ve embodied each one of the 5 values.
  • Managers also rate employees on their values in their reviews, explaining where they think each person is strongest and where they think they could improve.

Making our values every bit as important in employees performance as their work-related KPIs ensures that the values are consciously incorporated into everyday work, taken seriously by each and every member of the team, and that they are also rewarded for making the effort to uphold them.

Worker fistbumping

Manifesto

We have a culture manifesto; a written document outlining the culture of the company and the values we stand for.

It’s such a simple thing, but having it in black-and-white allows us clarity on the cultural direction of the company, and is also something employees can refer back to if want to challenge a decision made by management that they don’t feel is in keeping with the culture.

We share this with all our new hires (and also our interviewees) so that candidates can see exactly what we stand for and decide whether they’re in or out.

Reward

The old business maxim goes: “You get what you measure”, but we prefer the newer iteration: “you get what you celebrate”.

When it comes to culture, your employees need to see the correct cultural behaviour being rewarded.

The more you celebrate the good the more good you’ll get and, as always, actions speak much louder than words. Rewarding behaviour that we feel is in-line with our culture is a powerful part of our implementation.

Team celebrating

The above 4 may seem simple, but they’re what we’d recommend to any company. The beauty of their simplicity is that they are pretty much guaranteed to work for you, no matter what the structure or culture of your business.

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