Define Your Company Culture Before It Defines You 28 Sep 2018


Warby Parker has dedicated an entire team to defining and promoting their company culture. This team sets up lunches, events, and programs so that employees always have something fun to look forward to. Zappos places so much importance on company culture that they offer new employees a $2,000 buy-out if after one week they feel like they’re not the right fit. SquareSpace has built a “flat” culture that minimizes the layers of management that employees need to deal with and allows them to feel more creative at work.

Every business has a distinct personality and many are defined by it. This personality, or culture, can either attract employees or push them away.

How can you ensure your company culture is the right one and that it attracts the best employees?

In this article, we’ll cover why you need to define your company culture and how you can move it in the right direction.

Why You Need to Define Your Company Culture

Your business is going to develop a culture, with or without your help. There’s nothing you can do to stop this from happening, but you can do something about the culture itself. By being proactive, you can keep your company’s culture under control and make sure it fits the values and goals you have for your company.

One danger of not taking an active role is that your culture could become toxic and scare away potential hires. It may also turn your business into a harmful work environment for your existing employees, leading to a high turnover rate and a bad reputation for your company.

On the other hand, having the right company culture keeps your employees happy and engaged. It also leads to high productivity and a good brand image. Now that you know why you need to define your culture, how can you do it?

How Can You Define Your Company’s Culture?

Business team unified with fists together

The first step in defining your company culture is deciding what kind of workplace you want to create. Doing this can be difficult, after all, how do you define a culture? But, these questions will get you started.

  • What are your company’s goals and mission?
  • What values or qualities do you want to promote?
  • What kind of workplace do you need to attract the right talent?
  • Do you want people to feel and act like a team or work individually?
  • Do you want a structured, formal workplace or a creative, casual one?
  • If you have employees, then ask them what kind of environment they want to work in.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you need to align your culture to match. In some cases, this might require restructuring or changing your approach. For example, if you decide that you want a more casual work environment, but your current company structure has multiple layers of management that employees need to go through to get anything done, then you may decide to restructure your company so that your employees have more freedom to work. You may do this by changing what kind of work needs to be approved by management or by empowering employees to make certain types of decisions.

The language you use matters too. The tone and voice you adopt in your marketing and internal documents are a reflection of your brand’s voice. If this voice feels disconnected from your culture or just doesn’t fit, then you need to make a change.

After you’ve worked hard to get your company culture to where you want it, make sure job candidates know how important it is. Include information about your culture in job listings, so job applicants can determine if they’ll fit in. You can also discuss your company culture in your “about” section so potential hires can learn more before the job interview.

Finally, your culture will change and evolve with your company. So let it. If the culture you wanted isn’t working or needs to change, then figure out the problem and work on it. By being flexible and allowing your culture to adapt as your needs change, you’ll help your business grow and reach the goals you set for it.

How to Hire

Like Warby Parker, your company can be defined by a strong culture if you make it a priority. In this article, we’ve learned you can define your culture by asking questions that reveal what your ideal workplace is like, working towards the work environment you want, explaining your work style to potential hires, and changing your culture if it no longer works for your business.

Now that you have the right culture to attract new talent, you likely want to make some new hires. But with all the steps involved in the hiring process, how can you easily make new hires? By downloading Trusted Employees’ ebook Supercharge Your Hiring Process. Download it today to find out how to streamline your hiring process.