For a small business, the process of scaling up is one of the most exciting endeavors your company can undertake. It means you’ve been so successful that people want more. This is reflected in the need to grow your product, your workforce, and your sales! But with growth can come some unexpected problems. One tough one is learning how to scale your culture to match your burgeoning company. Check out these tried and true tips to get started!
Hire with Culture in Mind
Any growing company knows the importance of hiring the right talent as they scale up. But many recruitment and HR professionals tend to make the fatal mistake of hiring anyone who fits the job description, without keeping culture in mind. While there may be several candidates that can adequately fill an open role, not every single one can both fit and add to your own company culture. So how can you make sure they’re the right candidate? Incorporate your company’s values and mission into interview questions to get an idea of how the candidate responds to them. Don’t be scared to place a strong emphasis on your culture and values. That way, the interviewee understands what they mean to the company. But an emphasis on company culture shouldn’t end with an offer letter! Include instances of your company culture in the entire onboarding process. For example, explain office dress code, vacation policy, and any other unique features that you feel gives an indication to how your company runs, both internally and externally. This starts new hires off on the right foot and gives them immediate exposure to your culture.
Communication is Key
When your company consists of five or 10 people, communication is rarely a problem. However, as you scale up, you might start to notice that there’s a much stronger need for a communication method that keeps all employees up to date and informed of important matters. Your communication approach should also give employees the opportunity to speak openly with executives in the office. Whether it’s a monthly, company-wide meeting, an open-door policy, or another format that uniquely fits your company, make sure you create some sort of process that inspires transparency, openness, and communication among all employees.
Connect Office Space to Culture
Many smaller companies don’t just experience growth in employees or sales figures – many will literally grow out of their office space and choose to relocate to a new space that fits their size better. If this is the case for your company, don’t forget to bring your culture along with you! Don’t just make an identical replica of your old office. Instead, work on finding ways to adapt your culture to your new office space. If your culture stresses the value of communication and collaboration, an open office format will point to that. If you enjoy bringing a tone of levity into the office, consider implementing pet-friendly days or regular office get-togethers, like happy hours or game nights that utilize your office space (if possible).
Recognize Outstanding Employees
It’s no secret that recognition can improve engagement, morale, and even productivity among employees. But it can also be a useful tool that conveys your company culture. Make an effort to visibly recognize those employees who you feel embody your company’s values. It’s especially important that you do so in a way that fits in with the company culture. For example, at PerkSpot, we have multiple forms of recognition. The first is the option for any employee to recognize any of their coworkers for a job well done! This cross-departmental recognition creates a culture of appreciation throughout the entire company. We also choose to highlight one specific, outstanding employee each week, who went above and beyond to complete their work in a way that represents our values well. Not only does this affirm to each individual employee that the work they do is important and appreciated, but it also gives their fellow colleagues a good understanding of what kind of words and actions align with the culture of your company.
Any company that is in the process of scaling up should be proud of the growth they’ve already seen! But now comes the tough part – making sure that, as you grow, you remain loyal to the culture and values you started with. Follow these helpful suggestions to keep your company culture intact as you grow!