Image via WaysWeWork

Why You Need To Be Focusing On Company Culture

In the modern workforce, company culture is king.


Company culture: you might struggle to put what it is into words, but your company is ultimately defined by it. And it may be more important than you even realize.

According to Pew Research Center, millennials currently make up the largest generational segment in the U.S workforce. Unlike their parents and grandparents, job security isn’t a high priority when it comes to employment. Instead, millennials are more focused on the company they are joining — they want to work for a company with values that align with their own.

To attract and retain the best possible workforce, companies need to focus on cultivating a desirable company culture. This is no easy feat — a study by Deloitte University Press found that company culture and engagement is an HR department’s biggest challenge in today’s workplace landscape.

In 2010, co-founders Lukas Dryja (CEO) and Tyler Ronney (CPO) started Format. In just six years, we’ve grown to a team of forty and remains a bootstrapped start-up to this day.

We’ve had a lot of accomplishments along the way. One of our biggest success so far? Our amazing company culture.

“As Format has grown, it’s been one of our proudest accomplishments to have built a culture where everyone enjoys spending time together, both during and outside office hours,” explains Lukas. “Seeing people organize group activities on their own or having fun together in the office reinforces that we’re not just building a company, we’re building a community.”

If you’re finding that your current company culture isn’t working for you, what can you do to improve it?

Start on the right foot

First and foremost, it’s essential to have an in-depth hiring process that allows you to spend time with candidates. You want to be able to get to know the person you’re considering and give them the opportunity to show you their strengths. With each new hire, look for someone who fits the existing culture and can positively contribute to it.

“Every new hire’s impact is felt immediately and they are able to start contributing right away,” says Dryja.

When a new hire joins the Format team, our onboarding process ensures they’re given the resources and tools they need to hit the ground running and be productive from the word go.

Get everyone on board

“Each day, our product helps creative professionals showcase their work in the best light possible and attract more clients,” Dryja shares. “We’re completely motivated by our role in growing their careers and improving their lives.”

By demonstrating how each individual team member’s goals help to achieve Format’s main goals, we all know and see how our work has a measurable impact on the company as a whole. We can then feel invested in the company’s overall success.

Image via WaysWeWork

Be a team

Team building is an important part of running a successful business capable of growth and employee retention. Building a company from the ground up essentially means gathering a group of individuals and finding a way to turn them into an interconnected unit of collaborators.

“We don’t use the word ‘employees’. We are team members,” says Dryja. The relatively flat organizational structure of Format allows every team member to contribute and be heard.

Make trust integral

“Trust is a common thread that runs through all of our company policies,” explains Dryja.

Making team members responsible for results and giving them the opportunity to voice their opinions on various policies and projects shows that they are trusted and valued members of the team.

Empower your team

It may seem like common sense, but empowering people to succeed is an integral part of Format’s company culture and should be a part of all successful company cultures.

“We tend to give our team members challenging projects. We provide them with the trust and support they need to meet these ambitious challenges,” says Dryja. “Having autonomy over their projects helps our team members become invested in the project’s success.”

Be flexible

“We understand that sometimes team members may want to focus and work from home, or switch things up visually and work from their favorite coffee shop,” says Dryja. “For us, we can pretty much do anything remotely that we can from the office. So, as long as you’re communicating with the rest of the team, it’s not a problem.”

The emphasis is taken off of face time at Format and instead is placed on productivity and results. Team members located in Toronto work just as successfully as the seven remote workers found around the globe.

Have fun

From Hackathons to weekly catered lunches, team baseball games to board game nights, we have the chance to bond beyond the scope of their day-to-day collaboration in fun and interesting ways. Throw in three office dogs, no dress code and the (very) occasional sponsored happy hour and it’s easy to see that we take fun seriously here.

Image via WaysWeWork

“Your job shouldn’t be a constant source of stress,” says Dryja. “We don’t want people to dread coming into work. Fostering company culture is a big part of alleviating work-related stress for us.”

The value of our dedication to company culture shouldn’t be underestimated. Team members are engaged with their projects and we try not to get bogged down by the small stuff. Instead, we focus on what’s important: accomplishing our goals, collaborating with one another and giving creative professionals the tools to pursue their passion.

Find out why creative professionals in 190 countries use Format for their online portfolios.


Written by


Format makes it easy to build your own professional portfolio website – without learning to code. Used by photographers, designers and artists in 190 countries.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade