8 Tips for Building Company Culture

January 21, 2016

Growing a team can prove just as challenging as building one up from scratch. Our co-founder, Lydia, gave a talk today at Draper University, detailing everything from her experience on building a company to growing the team. Lydia shares some valuable tips for expanding companies looking to establish a solid, reliable team:

1.    Hire: Sunday Test. Ask yourself—if you were to go into the office on a Sunday, and you saw John, would you be excited to work or let out an exasperated sigh? You want to hire people you are excited to work with!

2.    Avoid Dogmatic People. Test potential hires for dogmatic personality traits. It is important to have employees that are flexible and open to new ideas. In our interview process, we challenge interviewee’s suggestions to see how they react to suggestions and criticisms.

3.    Ensure Intrinsic Motivation. You want employees to feel personally invested in the company and know they are making an impact. While equity and bonuses help, there are other ways to remind employees of their value to the company. You want them to take ownership of their work and call them to be accountable for their ideas.

4.    Encourage Career Growth. Be an advisor to your employees. Find out what their career goals are. What are their interests besides their current role? Taking an interest in your employees and acting as a support system will help improve morale and productivity.

5.    Decide on Data.  Developer’s hours are sacred, but never shoot down an idea outright. Explain your concerns and if your employees are persistent, establish what you would need in terms of mock-ups and data to consider before introducing it to a developer.

6.    Ask, Don’t Tell. Like the previous point mentioned, give employees control of their work. They want to feel as though you respect them and their decision-making process. A subtle, yet effective way to communicate this, is to ask, rather than flat out commanding.

7.    Focus on Culture. Create a company culture that people want to be a part of without going overboard. Little things such as playing Cards Against Humanity, or going on outings to shows like Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer create strong team relationships.

8.    Don’t be too soft. You can’t please everyone all the time. It’s normal to hire friends when you’re starting out, but they might not be the best long term fit. You will have to make cuts. It will temporarily hurt morale, but in the long run, people will be happier if the company is successful.

See which points best relates to your team, and what can be improved on. For more insights into building a company and growing a team, don’t forget to check out the full video!

 

 



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elle2020
Brown ‘20


Accepted to Brown, UPenn, Wellesley, Kenyon, Macalester, Holyoke, Harvard, Bowdoin

Just another girl finally through the college apps rat race. I'm happy to share with you what I did to get through it! Currently I'm pre-law and possibly majoring in Public Policy.
Lia_Columbia
Columbia ‘19


Accepted to Columbia

I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring English teacher.
BrownDomer
Notre Dame ‘20


Accepted to BU, Emory, Swarthmore, Notre Dame

Hello! I'm an international student from Ethiopia and I'll be majoring in Biology. I'd love to share all the tips and tricks I've learned from my rather unique college application experience with you!
VivienneEve23
UC Berkeley ‘20


Accepted to UC Berkeley, Brown, Claremont (CMC), Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Northwestern, Pomona, Stanford, San Diego, Vanderbilt, UCSC, UCSB, UCSD, UCLA, Cal Poly, Cal Poly Pomona, Washington

Los Angeles kid attending UC Berkeley, Class of 2020! Planning on studying business or economics. Go Bears!

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