Building a company’s culture has become more than beer on tap and a pool table. Culture in offices can often seem manmade, when it should develop organically. While these luxuries are clearly an attempt at establishing a company’s environment, it takes time and effort to fully erect what the business is about.
Joanne McKinney, CEO of the Burns Group, has taken steps in creating a healthy culture at her company. It begins with thinking like a startup, where figuring out your culture is just as important as the product being created. Establishing values and the “why” of a business is of the utmost importance in a successful business.
Communicating throughout the entire company is vital in creating a trusting and goal-oriented environment.
“For instance, we shared a detailed business plan with the entire team and selected change ambassadors from every level within the company to supercharge its progression and adoption throughout the organization,” said McKinney.
While higher ups at some companies see themselves exempt from every day company responsibility, McKinney says that in order to properly execute company values, it must start from the top. When executives take the initiative to grow and learn, it encourages their employees to do the same.
Investing in a company’s culture can also help establish what direction it goes. Burns Group has a budget set aside for company events, such as their own world cup and making fascinators for the royal wedding.
Reaching an end goal is clearly a cause for celebration, but the process of reaching said goal should be equally celebrated, says McKinney. Reflecting on how everyone has collaborated and supported one another is an accomplishment in itself.
To fully establish a company culture, it’s important to begin with Day 1. With all the effort that goes into the hiring process, an employee’s first day should immerse them and give them insight into what to expect for the years to come.
“We took a fresh look at our onboarding process and created a Day 1 welcoming program that strongly reflects our values and culture. The days that follow are equally important, but we found that focusing on how you show up as a company on the first day of work can birth some fresh and important thinking.”