Gone are the days when employees prioritized salary over all else when looking for a new job. Company culture has now become the centrepiece of a company’s identity and as the next generation of the working class enters the job market, companies need to start paying closer attention to the type of company culture they have created for their employees.
Company culture is the personality of a company. It defines the environment in which employees work. Company culture includes a variety of components, including work environment, company mission, value, ethics, expectations, and goals.
When you talk about company culture it’s almost impossible not to associate it with the big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Twitter that show up on numerous “Best Places To Work” lists. These companies have established themselves as a hot destination in the market and employees rave about their experience working at these companies.
Google is a prime example of an organization with distinct company culture. According to its website, Google still runs their company like a startup with the aim to create a fun and interactive atmosphere:
At lunchtime, almost everyone eats in the office café, sitting at whatever table has an opening and enjoying conversations with Googlers from different teams… Every employee is a hands-on contributor… no one hesitates to pose questions directly to Larry or Sergey in our weekly all-hands (“TGIF”) meetings — or spike a volleyball across the net at a corporate officer.
Like a few other Silicon Valley tech giants, Google also offers its employees plenty of perks and benefits that make their employees very happy. Free meals, employee trips and parties, financial bonuses, open presentations by high-level executives, gyms, and a dog-friendly environment just to mention a few.
These large enterprises have been able to capitalize on making employees feel like their work is meaningful. At its core, that is what drives good company culture.
Employees tend to enjoy work when their needs and values are consistent with those in the workplace. They tend to develop better relationships with coworkers and are even more productive.
Another trick that these tech companies use is a flat organizational structure that makes employees feel like everyone is on a level playing field. At Facebook, they have a wall dedicated to employees to write whatever interesting and quirky ideas that come to mind.
Regardless of all the awesome perks that come with working at a company like Google or Facebook, not everything is glitz and glam at these Silicon Valley tech giants. Here’s what a previous Facebook employee had to say about their time at the company:
“Work life balance is terrible. Everyone in my team works outside regular hours, night and weekends. No one will explicitly say that you have to do this but given the competitive culture, you pretty much put in extra hours.”
The heightened work hours and competition is a direct byproduct of growing pains. It’s essential for any company that is experiencing extreme growth that they adapt their company culture to fit what employees are experiencing in their day-to-day schedule.
To mitigate the stress, Facebook has created conference rooms, has separate buildings, lots of outdoor roaming space for breaks and has management (even CEO Mark Zuckerberg) working in the open office space alongside other employees. It’s all an attempt to promote a sense of equality among the competition.
At Corl, we think that the company culture plays a crucial role in the growth of early-stage startups especially when founders are prospecting new talent to join their company.
It’s incredibly important for a startup founder to establish their company culture within those first 30–50 employees because once you grow beyond that it’s far more difficult for a company to change the way they operate.
The importance of company culture cannot be understated. Culture sets the tone for the way employees are expected to behave. It tells them whether to risk telling their bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems.
Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own every day, and company culture is their guide. Culture tells them what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is, of course, most of the time.
That’s why it’s important for all companies to establish their company culture early on to set the precedent for every new employee that joins the team. The workplace should not be something that people dread every day. Employees should look forward to going to their jobs. In fact, they should have a hard time leaving because they enjoy the challenges, their co-workers, and the atmosphere.
Corl is an investment company that provides funding for early-stage, high-potential startups. Revolutionizing the traditional funding industry through revenue sharing provides founder-friendly growth capital.
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