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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littlegreentre…
Stanford ‘19


Accepted to Cambridge, Stanford, Princeton, Yale, Brown, UPenn, Columbia, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Swarthmore, Barnard, Wellesley, Duke, NYU, BU

overly ambitious, passionately curious, helplessly perfectionistic
elewal
Brown ‘20


Accepted to Brown, Cornell, CMU, Wesleyan, William & Mary, Case, Villanova, Binghamton, RPI, WPI

Hi! I'm a sophomore at Brown University studying Biochemistry and English. I love writing, baking, hiking, and music.
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Tulane ‘20


Accepted to Tulane, UC Berkeley, Cincinnati, UPenn

Hi y'all! I'm an incoming freshmen at Tulane University in New Orleans, where I'll be studying Architecture, with a coordinate major in International Development and a minor in Urban Studies. Hope I can help with this #difficult process!
SChai
Georgetown ‘18


Accepted to Georgetown, NYU, Barnard, Northeastern

Hi, I'm Shannon! I'm from San Jose, California, spent a gap year living and working in Leipzig, Germany, and now I go to college in Washington D.C. I've shared everything I can remember about the college application process with y'all! :)

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