In his book Chaos Monkeys, former Facebook employee Antonio Garcia Martinez opens up about what it was like to work at the social media giant.
In an extract published in Vanity Fair, Martinez gives readers a glimpse into Facebook’s company culture.
He compares the way work anniversaries were celebrated to “the way evangelicals celebrate the day they were baptized and found Jesus.” While we can assume that is an exaggeration, it’s probably safe to say the company’s culture is unique.
Creating good company culture should be as important as creating a business strategy. A company with a great culture has happy employees; and happy employees mean a more productive work environment. When an employee looks forward to going to work every day there is less stress in the workplace and more gets accomplished.
Culture comes into play when recruiting talent. When employees love where they work, word gets around. I’m sure you’re familiar with Zappos’ “bottom-up” policy where employees have no bosses, or Google’s many perks like free meals, on-site gyms, and its dog-friendly environment.
There definitely isn’t a shortage of resumes passing through their hands. While your strategy doesn’t have to be as extreme, it should be favorable enough to attract qualified employees.
3 Ways To Build Company Culture
Hire According To Cultural Fit
Once you’ve defined your company culture, it should be clearly expressed in all of your communication materials. This will likely draw appropriate candidates your way.
They may seek out your company because of the favorable things they’ve read or heard, and because their work ethic is aligned with your company’s core values.
When conducting an interview, ask specific questions. “What’s your ideal workplace?” and “Why do you want to work here?” are two good questions to ask to assess cultural fit.
Engaging in casual small talk before or after the official interview is another good way of getting a true feel for their personality and determining whether they will fit well within your organization.
Be Different, Even Quirky
Being different can be good when it comes to company culture. At the travel company KAYAK, every employee from every department at every level helps out by answering customer service calls. And they promote that fact that only hire “smart people.”
Balance Point embraces being different and has even incorporated it into our tagline. “We’re Different” from our competitors in our approach to customer service.
Employees are made to feel as comfortable as possible – from extensive on-the-job training to a relaxed dress code – because we believe that comfort will funnel through to our clients.
Create A Culture Club (Not The 80s Band)
Consider forming a committee that’s responsible for coming up with events and programs to promote community.
They should meet regularly to discuss cultural issues in the office and brainstorm ways to improve things. Becoming a member of the group gives employees the chance to visualize the big picture.
Instead of planning events purely for entertainment, coming together in support of charitable initiatives goes a long way in fostering teamwork and give employees a sense of greater purpose. Balance Point created a charitable outreach initiative for this very reason. Since its inception, we have connected with multiple charities and non-profits like Habitat for Humanity, Eva’s Village, and Lil’ Bravest, and plan to continually expand our effort.
What is Your Company Culture?
Ultimately, good company culture means making sure that employees have a fun and productive work environment. There are many ways to encourage it—from hiring the right people, to creating enough opportunities for comradery. And while good company culture doesn’t have to include happy hours, company picnics, and free coffee, it does help!