Startups: How to build a strong corporate culture

Corporate culture plays a big role in retaining employees and bringing on new talent. So how do you establish a strong culture at your startup?

Every company has a culture, regardless of how long they've been in business or how many employees they have. If you're currently managing a start-up, don't overlook the importance of establishing a positive culture for your employees.

Facilitating or allowing negative ideals in the workplace will lead to higher employee turnover. Also, having a clear definition of your company's values will help you hire better workers and make your company more attractive to new talent. Keep in mind that establishing and modifying corporate culture is much easier to do while your company has fewer employees and is more adaptable to change.

Having a well-thought-out list of company values will help define your startups culture.

Define your company's values

The first step in creating a solid work culture is defining your company's values. Give yourself enough time to sit down and make a list of what's important to you and your employees. Have a brainstorming session where everyone contributes ideas and provides feedback.

Your list might include values such as helping others, remaining accountable, having fun and being passionate. It's important to constantly revisit this list. As your company grows and you learn more, you'll find yourself modifying certain points as well as adding more values to it.

Reward employees for reinforcing those values

Simply creating a list of values is not enough. You need to make sure your employees are actually exemplifying these values in their everyday work life. A good way to encourage this is by recognizing and rewarding employees who uphold your company's values. You can start by posting positive statements about workers in social channels like Workplace.

For example, if an employee is consistently going out of their way to help their colleagues, draw everyone's attention to it. In the post, talk about how that employee is making the workplace a better environment and give other employees the chance to express gratitude. That employee will feel valued and will be even more motivated to keep working hard.

Hire the right employees

"One area to start building the culture is at the onset of the hiring process, because a strong culture gives a company a competitive advantage to attracting the best employees," says Trish Kellogg, Division Director for Beacon Hill's Associates Division in Atlanta. "People want to work for a company with a great reputation."

Once you have a list of values and employees who demonstrate them, you'll have a better idea of what your ideal worker looks like. This will make the hiring process much easier, since you'll have a more focused vision of what you're looking for.

During the interview process, ask them questions that directly relate to your company's values. Have them talk about times where they helped previous coworkers when they didn't need to, or displayed quality leadership skills.

Communicate with your employees

As an employer, it's important to be a good listener. The only way to know if your employees are contributing to a positive culture is by talking to them and valuing their opinions. This means always responding to their emails, hosting consistent one-on-one meetings and frequently asking for their feedback.

If a worker feels like they can't share things with you, either because you're too busy or you just don't care, they won't be as empowered to point out issues that are hurting your company's culture.

This content is brought to you by the Marketing Team at Beacon Hill Staffing Group.

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