It is widely acknowledged that culture holds greater significance within a company than process. You want people to join your company, because they share the company vision and are excited about realizing it, because they believe it makes the world a better place and improves their lives. This can be done by building an engaged workforce. While, this sounds idealistic, it does not mean that it is not practical and not sound business. While there are successful companies that emphasize processes, in the long run, building a company with productive employees is not achievable if they lack excitement about the company's mission and do not find joy in collaborating with their colleagues. While both aspects may not hold true at all times, it is preferable for at least one of them to be true most of the time. Because building a product or a company is a marathon and you need to optimize for the long term to survive. There are many trials and tribulations that the company will go through and in order to sustain the workforce, they need to build an emotional bank of good memories and associations with the people and the mission.
Now that I have convinced you about the importance of a culture-centered approach, how do you make this happen. How do you create a culture where the people in your company are engaged with the company's mission and are building emotional bonds with each other. It of course starts at the top with the leadership acknowledging the importance of this and prioritizing initatives which help make this happen. When a new employee joins, as part of the onboarding, make them aware of the various functions in the company with representatives from each of those functions talking about what they do. This helps both the newcomers get to know existing folks and also the existing folks to get to know the new people in the company. Make sure that by the end of onboarding, they understand why this mission matters to the world and they have spent one on one time with at least 5 people in the company in different groups. Furthermore, organizing weekly fireside chats that gather the entire company to discuss progress and the state of affairs within the company is essential. In addition, regular company-wide demos showcasing new features and ongoing initiatives can play a crucial role in the socialization aspect of building a cohesive culture. However, creating a sense of togetherness extends beyond socialization. It is imperative to steer clear of tribalism within the organization, preventing the formation of factions that can divide the workforce into an us versus them mindset.
What should one avoid when trying to cultivate an engaged culture? While healthy competition is beneficial and can drive growth, it is crucial not to let it escalate to a point where it creates divisions and hampers collaboration. Foster an environment where competition is balanced with collaboration, ensuring that the company's mission remains the overarching goal for all, promoting unity and collective progress. In conclusion, building a culture-centric company is a journey that demands dedication and strategic effort. However, the rewards are substantial—motivated, engaged employees who are aligned with the company's vision, working harmoniously towards a shared mission, and achieving sustainable success in the long run.