With 2017 off to a great start, (a big move, growing business, and several new team members) it’s the perfect time to highlight our company culture! Culture has always been important to our founders,but with a team that’s doubled since last year, we recently added new initiatives to keep our culture thriving.
To ensure our efforts succeed, we’ve taken steps to build a solid foundation upon which we can grow. We hope you find the steps below helpful when creating your company's culture!
Step 1: Get the Pulse
The best place to get an accurate pulse on your company culture is from the source - your team! Send out a short survey or set up an open forum to gather thoughts and ideas on your culture.
What you want to accomplish: Identify themes and keywords (ex: agile, hard-working, etc.) that are consistently used in conversation and gauge what the team feels is most important regarding culture initiatives (ex: team events, flexible hours, etc.)
Step 2: Create a Cultural Handbook
Use the information gathered from step one to create a living document strategically outlining:
Who your company is?
Who your company wants to be?
What makes it a great place to work?
Why is your culture the best?
What you want to accomplish: Create a handbook your team identities with, empowers them and makes them feel a sense of company pride! These are their thoughts and ideas showcased and directly contributing to the work environment - it should be exciting!!
[Check out our Company Culture Handbook here! Find out how we’re creating a company we love!]
Step 3: Establish Transparency
We’ve found that great company culture spreads best in an environment driven by transparency and openness. As our business grows, so does our team, and while it’s easy to have transparency in an office of 10 or 20, the more people on the team, the harder it becomes.
To reiterate our open door policy to our team, we have started what we call, “Townhall Meetings” (name borrowed from our friends at Red Frog Events)! These meetings begin with big company updates from the execs and parlay into an open forum for the whole team to bring up whatever is on their minds.
What you want to accomplish: Culture is ever-changing, and this is an easy way to keep ideas flowing both ways and nip any negative feelings from uncertainty in the bud!
Step 4: Team Initiatives
Team initiatives are unique to your company and stem from the information you gathered on what’s important to your team!
RedShelf puts an emphasis on team events (ex: happy hours, Spring Break team trip to Cancun, etc.) and a positive work environment (lots of natural light; places to gather and collaborate.). Hence our new office where we have three times the amount of space and a private roof deck with Chicago skyline views -- perfect for Summer barbecues. :)
What you want to accomplish: Show the team you’re listening and how important culture is by executing on the ideas most important to them!
Step 5: Community Initiatives
Start making community connections and offering opportunities for your team to share the incredible feeling and passion they have in the workplace in the community! We suggest working with community organizations and charities that align with your company mission and goals.
For example, our mission is to, “Help the learning community transition to digital l” and make education more accessible and affordable! We’ve partnered with Supplies for Dreams, an organization with a similar cause, who’s benefiting our local community. Our partnership provides opportunities for our team to spread our company's mission and ultimately positive culture to the cause we all believe in!
What you want to accomplish: Extend your culture beyond your company walls! Great culture is contagious and doing good spreads good feelings! :)
Step 6: Empower Your Team
Culture comes from everyone on your team! Once you have a solid foundation, a good company culture should maintain itself with a little encouragement and positive leadership! Empower your team to contribute and get involved.
One way we intend to do this is through a rotating company culture board that comes up with new team events for the month that tie in our five pillars: resourceful, entrepreneurial, ambitious, nimble and humble.
We want to build a company we love - If you want to chat RedShelf culture and careers - check out our About Us page!