It’s easy for companies to skip “company culture” when divvying out slices of pie in the annual budget. In previous years, the office place has been portrayed as dull, gray, and a place that employees cannot wait to leave. Recently, company culture has become a valued and prominent part of companies, primarily startups. Having an attractive company culture brings in talent, catches the eye of consumers, and makes the office a place your employees want to stay. Here are four steps to invest in your company’s culture:
Know Why Culture Is Important
The workforce flocking to startups are usually doing so to escape the strings of puppet master corporations. This new generation of workers don’t want to sit in a cubicle under fluorescent lights and drinking crappy coffee all day. They want to pizzaz, excitement, and most importantly to feel like they are a valued member of the team. In a previous blog post, our CEO, Jason Kulpa, shares his thoughts on using a percentage of the budget to instil a sense of entrepreneurship his employees. Things like collaborative work spaces, premium cold brew, adult-sized tricycles, and a fridge stocked with snacks will draw talent and keep it around.
Hire a Culture Specialist
We value culture at Underground Elephant so much that we have a team headed by our VP of Operations, Stacy Mendes, whose job is to ensure the company’s culture remains a positive and fun one. In an interview with Mendes, she shares why her job is so valuable: “In my role, you have to be the utmost team player, and be willing to do anything to help anyone. This role is important since without someone to coach and stimulate the company culture, it will eventually become unimportant and disregarded. If your company hires often and grows quickly, culture can easily slip from the main priority.”
Establish a Forum Program
Perhaps one of the most beneficial culture-establishing programs UE has conducted was our Forum Program. Our company split into teams to compete in challenges that built teamwork, collaborative spirit, and ultimately benefited the community. Partnering with nonprofits like the Humane Society and Monarch School allowed UE employees to feel good about giving back to the community as well as add a fun competitive edge.
Gain Recognition and Win Awards
Who doesn’t love to be recognized for their accomplishments? San Diego Magazine recognized Underground Elephant as one of “San Diego’s Coolest Companies”. By going above and beyond in our company culture, the community notices. Not only are we proud of our office space and love attending events hosted by UE’s Finer Things Club, our company club that loves to do fine things such as wine pairing and flower arrangements, but we also delight in the publicity that accompanies having an award-winning company culture.
Your company culture can make or break you hiring process, community perception, and overall moral of the company. By investing in this area, you will see positive growth in all departments.