Having a great company culture is not an option; it is absolutely fundamental to growing a thriving, successful organisation. It is important to understand however, that as a company grows, the culture evolves with it. As an organisation evolves it develops in a direction that is good for both the business and its people. An evolving culture allows people to bring more of themselves to the task, and as a result organisations will be more productive, profitable and competitive. Often those that were stars in the early days are not able to make the transition to a medium or large company and conversely, people that may have looked a bit sketchy or questionable to start with, evolve into leaders as the organisation changes and expands. The following 5 easily actionable tips, can help you with that transition:
Having some kind of feedback capability is crucial to letting people’s voices be heard. Software like Tiny Pulse (tinypulse.com) provides an inexpensive way for employers to empower their teams to give honest feedback. At Pure SEO we are starting to implement 360 degree feedback and undertake the IBM Kenexa Best Workplace survey.
2. Action and Communication
If you spend the time to get feedback from the team, there is nothing worse than doing nothing about it. Ensure that you take action if required and that this is well communicated to the team. One of the big things that came out of our most recent strategy day was that we could improve internal communications; as a result we have implemented SLACK (internal communications software). Already we are seeing huge improvements in internal communication, and better yet, the software is free!
We use our company values as a tool within our employment process, if someone does not fit with them, regardless of technical ability, we will not hire them. Pure SEO has the overarching value of ‘shiny happy people’, which ties into our positive, flat structure; this is underpinned by trust, respect, integrity and family.
We use our company values as a tool within our employment process, if someone does not fit with them, regardless of technical ability, we will not hire them.
We have one of the most ethnically diverse workplaces I know and we embrace it with open arms. We have team lunches, where everybody brings in food that means something to them (country, culture etc). These lunches consistently result in the team members learning more about each other and getting closer as a group.
5. Live Your Values
As highlighted we have a diverse, values driven culture. Whilst it is easy to cite these as founding principles, if you do not actually live by them they can become erosive to your culture. At Pure SEO, we are extremely flexible with team members who have shown to be ‘Pure SEO’ people. We have one lady in her 60s that works as a copywriter for us, she does so from her veranda in Raglan. Another lady that works for us has recently had a child, she has been provided almost total flexibility in how much and where she works from. Both of them have been such excellent employees, that we will bend over backwards to support them.
Whilst a company is always changing as it grows, getting the right people is absolutely business critical. We are lucky at Pure SEO because in the early days we were lucky enough to find excellent people who really helped evolve the culture. The fact that we have such diversity (country, age, religion and gender) has really been pivotal to our success. In evolutionary terms this means our business is stronger, more vital and robust.
Richard Conway is Founder & CEO of Pure SEO.