How to maintain a great company culture

Posted 12/17/19 Team Vaco

Growth is exciting and scaling up can be an incredible journey, but during periods of intense change it’s important to think about how to maintain a great company culture. Whether you’re reading this because you’re worried that your company culture is broken or you’re looking for ways to strengthen your culture, we can help.

As your company grows, we understand that you have plenty of critical tasks on your plate. Everything on that plate is important but think of maintaining a great company culture as the leafy greens portion of the meal. 

Bear with us while we carry this metaphor just a tiny bit further: A great company culture, like a big healthy serving of veggies, should play a central role in your management efforts because it’ll nourish your company through challenging or uncertain times. 

So how can you maintain a great company culture? Let’s get cooking!

Double down on your identity by reinforcing your company’s values

As your company grows, be sure to reinforce your mission in fun ways. Engage your employees in your mission so they feel as invested in it as you do. To ensure your mission and core values are front of mind to your staff, make sure they’re visible throughout the office and incorporate them into your brand identity.

Forbes agrees. “Try to explicitly describe, both to yourself and your team members, the culture you wish to create. This should exist in written form so as to prevent the message from being distorted.”

Create a physical environment that reflects your culture

Does your office design align with your desired culture? What do you want your surroundings to say about your company and the people who work there? Is it bright and airy? Is it classic and professional? Is it warm and comforting? Perhaps you’re striving for funky and fun. 

Whatever your look is, it needs to complement your company culture. Medium notes that “designing with company culture in mind is also an effective way to communicate your company brand identity and values across locations. If people get the same impression no matter what office location they step into, then you are probably doing something right to convey your brand.”

And Haworth research has shown that the right office design can increase the happiness of employees.

Give credit where credit is due

Employee recognition is a low-cost, high-reward undertaking. And it’s shockingly rare.

  • 63% of employees feel like they don’t get enough praise.
  • 57% of employees wouldn’t recommend their organization as a good place to work.
  • 32% of employees have to wait more than three months to get feedback from their manager.
  • 72% of employees get praise less than once per week.
  • Organizations that give regular recognition experience 31% lower voluntary turnover.
  • 83% of employees think it’s better to praise someone than to give them a gift.

(Source: OfficeVibe.com)

Hold yourself and your team to a higher standard

Accountability may not seem like a top way to maintain a great company culture, but it is. As long as you’re consistent and fair about it.

A strong culture begins when the CEO and other members of the C-team lead by example to proactively set the tone and culture of the company. Your employees will notice if you’re not holding fast to your stated mission and values. If you’re not, don’t expect your team to do it for you.

On the other hand, if you’re consistently present and your messaging is clear, your employees will follow your lead. Of course, should someone demonstrate a negative attitude or exhibit behaviors that run counter to your values, address it immediately with compassion and integrity. 

Find the right candidate for the right position

In a competitive hiring market, it can be tough and time-consuming to find the perfect candidate for every position.

We think it’s worth the effort, though. 

As you work your way through the hiring process, keep your company’s values in the spotlight — or at the center of the plate, if you’ll allow us to return to our opening metaphor. If your candidates know what you expect of them, it’ll help them make the right decision. Which, in turn, helps strengthen your culture.

And then, once that perfect candidate has accepted your offer, keep right on talking about your core values through the onboarding process, their weekly 1:1 meetings, and annual performance reviews.

At Vaco, we work hard to serve our partners by matching the right candidate with the right company. Our goal at Vaco has always been to attract highly-skilled self-starters and give them what they want. We don’t look for corporate drones who are content clocking in, clocking out, and getting paid. Instead, we want the kind of people who thrive on challenges, live for opportunities, and are ready to rise to any occasion.

We’ve been fortunate to work with extraordinary people, incredible talent, and terrific companies. And we know what it’s like to grow – and grow fast. Vaco has been named to Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing private companies for each of the past 12 years and was ranked #4 on Forbes’ 2018 List of America’s Best Professional Recruiting Firms.

We’re humbled by these honors and accolades, but through all the growth and recognition, we do our best to serve and stay true to the Vaco Way.

“Vaco means to free yourself. It’s designed to attract that talented malcontent who’s slaving away at a corporate bureaucracy, wanting an entrepreneurial opportunity within an organization of players that play as they do.”

— Jerry Bostleman, CEO and Founding Partner at Vaco

Maintain your company’s awesome culture with great talent. Or, share your awesome talent with a growing company! Contact Vaco today—we’d love to help.

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