91 percent of CEOs believe that strengthening their company's culture will boost its worth. Whether you're expanding your business or considering starting one, establishing a solid culture should be a key concern.
In fact, according to recent research, While putting culture first from the start is vital, maintaining it as your company expands can be difficult. So, what's the best way to expand your business while maintaining your company's culture?
Having a core set of values, focusing on culture fit, and keeping open to feedback from your employees are all critical tactics for ensuring that your company's culture can evolve with it.
Table of contents
- Things to consider while scaling company culture
- How to Scale Company Culture?
- Define culture in terms of distinct, visible actions
- Company Culture Building and Scaling Rules
- Create a clear communication strategy
- Determine and Live Your Organization's Values
- Hiring Procedures That Are Strict
- Employee Achievements And Contributions Should Be Recognized
Things to consider while scaling company culture
Have a clear understanding of your company's ideals
Strong cultures are built on strong values, and defining yours early on can help you develop a strong scaling company culture. The first step in determining your core principles is to meet down with your leadership team and determine what differentiates and distinguishes your firm for scaling company culture.
Begin by generating a list of five to ten phrases that best describe your business, focusing on words like passion, integrity, and mission. Then, to ensure that you have a comprehensive list at the conclusion, reduce that list down to what you believe the fundamental principles are. Once you've identified your values, share them with your entire team and gather input on how they represent your firm.
Because this is an iterative process, be willing to make modifications and ensure that the final set of values has the support of the entire team. Then, in your day-to-day job, work on living those values and incorporating them into your team meetings and broader corporate culture.
Every new employee should be screened for cultural fit
It's nice to build scaling company culture, but making sure you can sustain it with each new hiring can be difficult. From the initial phone screen to the first few weeks of an employee's stay, the best approach to do this successfully is to prioritise culture fit at every stage of the hiring and onboarding process.
Begin by explaining your company's principles during your first contact with a candidate, and be sure to ask questions during the interview that will help you assess cultural fit for scaling company culture.
Once you've found a candidate who shares your values and appears to be a good fit for your team, help them acquire a better understanding of your scaling company culture by introducing them to other team members on their first day and assisting them in being fully integrated.
This will not only make them feel welcome, but it will also allow them to understand the role that culture plays in the day-to-day operations of your firm and how those principles are applied to the business for scaling company culture.
Seek comments from your coworkers
Being ready to adjust as your company expands is one of the keys to having a good culture. It's crucial to remain adaptable and listen to feedback at this point.
While some of your basic beliefs may remain the same as your company develops from five to 500 employees, others will certainly change, and remaining open to such changes will allow you to scaling company culture while preserving the most important components of your culture.
Creating a feedback-friendly culture and regularly checking in with your staff through meetings and anonymous surveys are excellent strategies to ensure that you're obtaining accurate, honest feedback that you can act on. Above all, it's critical to get feedback on a frequent basis, especially if your business is growing quickly, scaling company culture.
A positive company culture can be a valuable asset to your organisation. It can make a major impact in how fulfilled team members feel in their roles and overall company productivity, in addition to keeping staff motivated and lowering turnover for scaling company culture.
You can ensure that your company's culture is preserved as it grows by setting the groundwork for a great culture from the start and instilling a growth attitude in your employees.
How to Scale Company Culture?
A positive work culture is one of the most precious assets a company can provide to its employees, and it may be a key component in achieving corporate success. However, many IT directors still struggle with culture, particularly during times of expansion when values and organisational practices must be expanded to a larger audience for scaling company culture.
These qualities are sometimes inherent and cannot be stated clearly, but with rapid development and recruiting, they become more crucial than ever for scaling company culture. Whether it's expanding globally or adding additional team members in a single location, growth may be thrilling. In either case, it's critical to prioritise scaling company culture.
Aligning the leadership
First and foremost, culture should be driven by leadership. You must actively endeavour to establish a strong sense of community as an IT leader. In the thick of IT efforts, it's easy for culture to fall by the wayside, but prioritising scaling company culture can keep your staff together and guarantee that your company's values are upheld.
Transparency and ongoing communication are required while making major changes for scaling company culture. People are continuously in search of answers to the question Why? If your employees understand that a tiny adjustment is part of a larger arc, they are more likely to accept it.
Align managers on expectations and goals so that your company's journey to the next stage of growth is seamless and interesting for both new and existing personnel and for scaling company culture. Consistency in message is not difficult to achieve, but it takes time for scaling company culture.
Rather than rushing to execute, take a few hours to gather leaders and ensure that everyone is on the same page. To formalise your company's commitment from the top down, provide leaders incentives to prioritise scaling company culture, and track their success with tangible measures for scaling company culture.
Consider including culture-related goals in your year's top priorities, creating culture ambassadors within the organisation, and rewarding people who take on these responsibilities for scaling company culture.
These influencers can come from any department within the firm, and they can have a significant impact by influencing their peers and community members to adopt scaling company culture.
Recognizing these employees at company-wide meetings or through internal communications can help to promote the idea that leadership cares about culture and that you value people for how they work as well as what they do for scaling company culture.
Establish personal relationships
The best approach to connect with others is through face-to-face conversations. Travel to the various offices to speak with existing and new workers if your IT team members are based in different places.
Establish a meet and greet roadmap throughout the new hire onboarding process to assist link new employees with people they should know if this isn't a viable option.
If travel isn't an option, make video a requirement during meetings to help develop deeper connections by complementing spoken conversations with tone and body language. Investing excellent one-on-one time indicates your commitment and aids in the direct communication of corporate values.
Growth brings opportunities, but it also brings change and uncertainty. Take advantage of these crucial opportunities to answer questions, assuage fears, and offer aspirations for the company's and IT department's future.
Establish frequent all-hands meetings, skip-level meetings, management meetings, or even coffee discussions for employees who are celebrating a work anniversary after the dust has settled to help maintain a regular cadence of engagement and communication.
This allows you to engage in two-way discussion and receive real-time feedback from your colleagues. It will also assist you in obtaining a clear understanding of what is functioning and where resistance or bottlenecks may present for scaling company culture.
Traditions should be translated
Traditions are the bedrock of a thriving, enjoyable society. These are the moments that employees look forward to and typically identify with their finest memories, whether it's through team outings or something as simple as Bagel Fridays.
It's vital to share traditions with all new employees during times of expansion to keep everyone united and preserve a consistent ambiance for scaling company culture.
As companies become increasingly geographically dispersed, hosting company-wide events that span several offices gives a shared experience and strengthens corporate culture by creating a shared platform of traditions and connections.
The core of a team's culture is rituals and traditions, and when something personal is involved, whether it's giving back to the community, bowling, or beer tasting, individuals in the team build stronger relationships with one another. This translates to more effective teamwork and increased workplace engagement.
The quantity of investment you make in new and existing workers determines how successful you are at scaling culture. Offering tools for professional improvement, such as tuition reimbursement and licences for online e-learning programmes, displays a commitment to your employees' professional development.
Professional development programmes for employees to increase their abilities and advance their careers are important in a learning culture. Employees are encouraged to explore, have fun, and be creative via learning, while also feeling respected and encouraged to pursue their passions and interests for scaling company culture.
Offer new team members a personalised learning path or ask an existing team member to mentor someone in a different location when you hire them. Enabling such linkages as the team grows together will reduce onboarding time and increase learning and growth opportunities for scaling company culture.
Businesses grow quickly, corporate valuations soar, and the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) exceeds 40%. As the number of employees increases to support business expansion, so does human capital.
This distinguishes hypergrowth organisations from other businesses that expand at a slower and more consistent pace for scaling company culture.
Hypergrowth companies must swiftly ensure that they have the proper people and procedures in place to handle their rapid growth. If they don't, the organisation may fall apart soon and no scaling company culture. While hypergrowth organisations face numerous challenges, research indicates that talent is the most significant one for scaling company culture.
And how to scale and retain culture is one of their top talent goals. When a firm grows from 10 to 1,000 employees, culture, or the underlying beliefs and values that create an organisation, can be tough to manage.
Define culture in terms of distinct, visible actions
Employees learn by observing others in the workplace, which is a social activity for scaling company culture. However, abstract qualities like creativity, respect, and ambition might have different meanings for different people. And, because hypergrowth organisations rapidly expand their workforce, culture can easily be lost in translation.
Employees can carry out ideals based on their own personal interpretations, not what the organisation desires. As a result, unexpected practices spread throughout the corporation, diluting organisational values and beliefs over time and no scaling company culture.
The first step in scaling company culture is to break down each company value or belief into two or three observable behaviours. Respect, for example, can be described as being a good listener and giving various opinions equal regard for scaling company culture.
This activity should result in a list of the top 10-15 observable behaviours that define your culture. This has a dual purpose for scaling company culture. To begin with, it assures that everyone is using the same cultural definitions.
Second, it guarantees that abstract values can be visualised in tangible terms. Employees will be able to learn, measure, and reinforce values more readily as a result.
Create a digital learning library that is easily accessible for scaling company culture. After you've made a list of behaviours, consider what knowledge, skills, and attitudes are required to do each one. What kind of content could be used to help employees gain these skills, and how can it be made available to everyone?
To teach employees about culture, many growing organisations rely on brief, in-person onboarding seminars. These programmes, which are usually a few days long, are useful for giving a quick overview of the company culture for scaling company culture.
However, learning is an ongoing process, and at many hyper growth companies, scaling company culture can lag after onboarding day.
During hypergrowth, a company's resources are either constrained or strongly focused on core revenue-generating operations like sales and marketing for scaling company culture. As a result, support functions such as culture training may be pushed to the side.
It is not enough to merely push learning to a group of individuals in a closed environment for it to be effective. According to research, a more open learning approach is required: employees should be able to access and pull learning resources regarding business scaling company culture at any time, whenever they require them.
This can be aided by creating a digital library of content. The top behaviours you want to scale can be displayed in the digital library or platform.
Then, for each behaviour, add carefully curated learning materials that can assist employees in understanding and demonstrating the behaviour for scaling company culture.
Short articles, study aids, videos, online quizzes, and recorded interviews can all be used. Make sure you add and update these materials on a regular basis.
Even if hyper growth companies lack the resources to provide comprehensive staff training, they can nonetheless ensure that their employees have open and continuous access to culture education.
To scale culture training, use blended learning programmes. Hypergrowth companies typically elect to invest more resources in employee training as their headcount grows, so they offer in-person courses to help employees scaling company culture.
While in-person training offers many advantages, scaling company culture quickly can be difficult. Employee reach may be limited by logistical constraints such as defined locations and times for scaling company culture. For employees who wish to learn new abilities, this can be quite irritating. Lack of training can also have a negative impact on talent retention, which is especially crucial during periods of rapid expansion for scaling company culture.
Employee training must be able to keep up with the rate of staff expansion in hyper growth organisations for scaling company culture. To do so, they can use blended learning programmes, which scale learning by combining online and offline delivery methods, scaling company culture.
Shorter in-person events, for example, can be combined with self-paced offline learning, live e-learning, or web-based seminars instead of extensive training courses. Blended learning, with the correct material and mix, can be more effective than either traditional learning or e-learning alone, according to research.
Blended learning also expands employee reach significantly, which is especially beneficial if employment is rapidly increasing, and lowers training expenses over time, which helps firms preserve vital resources during rapid expansion for scaling company culture.
Ensure that managers are consistently reinforcing the desired behaviours. Managers play a crucial role in scaling company culture. Employees can not only imitate their supervisors' actions, but they also turn to them for approval and direction.
Hypergrowth, on the other hand, may be a perplexing moment for businesses. Business targets are being pushed, strategies are changing at a rapid pace, and managers are juggling multiple tasks to meet lofty objectives. It's easy for managers to forget, in the midst of the commotion, that they have a powerful behavior-shaping tool at their disposal: recognition.
Highly individualised recognition, according to studies, is critical in reinforcing desired behaviour. While employee recognition is important for all businesses, it is especially crucial for hyper growth businesses since it needs little to no resources to implement: it is free, simple to implement, and very successful in altering employee behaviour.
All supervisors should be reminded to use this tool on a regular basis. Recognize people for positive acts right away, no matter how minor they are. And it isn't always necessary to express gratitude in a large public manner.
Managers can congratulate employees in small group meetings, in private, or even over email or chat. What matters is that acknowledgment occurs quickly, frequently, and is highly individualised. It only takes a few seconds, but it has the potential to have a significant and long-term impact on the institutionalisation of target behaviours.
Companies often find it difficult to sustain their culture during periods of hypergrowth. However, this does not rule out the possibility of preserving culture in the face of fast expansion. Hypergrowth companies may ensure that culture is properly scaled throughout a rapidly growing organisation by adopting the tactics outlined above.
Company Culture Building and Scaling Rules
Great entrepreneurs start firms not to make a profit, but to address a problem, to fulfil a calling, and to recognise that they have a mission that can genuinely make a difference. They do, however, want their enterprises to endure and grow once they've left for scaling company culture.
Great performance cannot exist without great people and culture, and the opposite is also true: high-performing organisations are most closely associated with great people and culture.
But there is one obvious truth: while a firm is in its infancy when there is no performance or figures to speak of, the people, mission, and culture are the most important differentiators.
The team is the company's basic DNA, the purpose is its religion, and the culture is its distinct method of doing business based on shared ideas, norms, and values. If you get this wrong from the start, like directing a rocket ship into orbit, your trajectory will only get worse over time.
Define set of values and set of expectations
Great cultures require a common language that allows individuals to communicate with one another: first, a shared set of values, which are the firm's fundamental principles, and second, a shared set of standards by which a company can assess how well it is honouring those principles.
If mentorship is a declared value, for example, you must consider how you define it and how you quantify it. Will this imply that you want staff to follow a specific career path and timeline?
Does this imply that you'll conduct internal 360-degree reviews to determine mentorship scores and correlate those rankings to bonuses? Or will you take it a step further and only promote those who help others develop? A coherent culture can only be achieved when there is a shared language, shared values, and shared norms.
Lead by example
The principles and standards of the company must be reflected in the leadership for scaling company culture. They must be the most powerful representatives of the company's culture and purpose, internalising and exemplifying what the organisation stands for rather than simply writing or memorising the mission statement.
A few instances can help to illustrate this: do people believe that when Richard Branson makes daredevil entrances or entertains on his island, he is living the Virgin way of energetic fun?
Is there any doubt that Whole Foods' John Mackey approaches food with a deeper awareness of its quality and provenance? These leaders not only have a strong enthusiasm and work ethic for what they do, but also a cultural ethic in which their actions inspire others.
Concentrate on the needs of your people
The leadership team's ideals are reflected in the company's culture. Whether you have 10 or 10,000 employees, certain of the underlying concepts that define the culture stay the same for scaling company culture.
It's critical to pay attention to your employees and to meet their demands. The channels for nurturing those relationships will change if you're operating virtually, but the essential concepts will remain the same.
Reflect, Refine And Release
Consider your company's culture because it will change over time. Then, as part of the ideal culture you strive to, refine what you genuinely want and what you don't want for scaling company culture.
Break it down into expected behaviours and values for scaling company culture. Finally, put it out there with well-crafted associated rules and standards, as well as a strong communication strategy and a plan to educate, motivate, and remind staff.
Make a team charter
Everyone unifying behind agreed ideals creates a company culture. If your remote team is international, the way each person displays these principles may differ for scaling company culture.
Request that each core team work together to produce a Team Charter that outlines their vision, rituals, and common practises for living and breathing these shared values. This will also make it easier for new personnel to get up to speed for scaling company culture.
Values should be reinforced on a regular basis
Values should be an essential part of the corporate culture, built into hiring and onboarding activities, rather than just a list of words posted in the lunchroom. Scaling this up necessitates ongoing reinforcement.
Every contact, communication, and hallway discussion serves to reinforce and strengthen the culture. Employees that connect with the company's culture become brand ambassadors for scaling company culture.
Reward Employees Who Cultivate Your Culture
If scaling company culture is vital, reward those who care for it the ones who will coordinate birthday cards, for example. Those who will give up their free time to assist others and scaling company culture.
Those who will take the initiative to improve the workplace help in scaling company culture. Your staff will come up with more and better ideas for scaling company culture than you would. Empower and reward them for pursuing their goals.
Ensure that your company's culture is both strong and adaptable
As you hire, review performance, promote workers, and continue to expand, the DNA of a strong culture will be imprinted through the company's principles of scaling company culture.
Allow remote offices and employees to bring more localised customs or traditions for scaling company culture. This gives them more power and allows them to grow as leaders. Your culture will be sustained if your values are strong.
Create a clear communication strategy
Begin with a communication strategy for scaling company culture. Consider how, when, and with whom people and groups will communicate for scaling company culture. Give remote workers the tools they need to stay connected and engaged online for scaling company culture.
Establish ground principles for interaction so that individuals and teams may trust and respect one another. Get feedback, socialise the expectations, and then institutionalise the outcome for scaling company culture.
During group meetings and activities, model the culture
When meeting with your team, whether digitally or in person, it's critical to reflect your team's culture verbally and nonverbally. This can be conveyed by your attire, agenda (or lack thereof), interaction flow, and so on.
If you want to establish a structured culture, you should provide structure; nevertheless, a more flexible culture may allow for more spontaneous engagement.
Empower your team leaders to help you scale your culture
Only a few people are directly affected by your direct influence on culture. By allowing your team leaders to scale the culture for you, the culture will spread. You can scale culture if the leaders you engage with on a regular basis feel responsible for the culture they create inside their teams.
Remember Your ‘Why’
When scaling your company's culture, it's critical to recall your "why" – the reason for your cause or the foundation of your beliefs. The goal of your team as it grows is still to be sustainable.
This is an opportunity to showcase team members' strengths while also identifying opportunities for growth. Learn to trust the process's longevity, collaborate as a team, and overcome obstacles.
Describe Your Experiences
Culture does not scale; instead, it endures. If history is any guide, cultures that are rich in traditions, folklore, and stories are more likely to survive.
Take note of your company's traditions and institutionalise them. Determine which events were pivotal in the organization's history and convey the tales about them. Celebrate your heritage, understand what makes you unique, and cultivate your tribe, and your culture will thrive.
Web conferences aren't just for work, they're also for bonding
At least once a week, one of my clients held a Webex lunch meeting with his distant staff in India, Japan, and the Netherlands. They discussed menu alternatives, swapped recipes, and sampled each other's meals.
This innovative approach created ties that went beyond meeting deadlines, keeping individuals accountable, and instructing them on what to do. It increased team spirit, which resulted in increased productivity.
With a growing distributed team, there are several ways to scale company culture. Even when a team works together in one place, scaling a growing business is difficult.
Scaling a company when a workforce is distributed, with many people working remotely, presents a unique set of issues. If you're an entrepreneur leading a distributed team, scaling the culture you've worked so hard to create might be overwhelming.
Individuals that are self-directed should be hired
Scaling while working remotely necessitates hiring self-directed individuals and then empowering them to lead themselves. Each member on a distributed team is responsible for their own micro-culture.
They have power over their physical surroundings as well as what happens outside of their screen. Employees who build a physical micro-culture that mixes in with the larger culture have the best chance of succeeding.
Ensure that your talent management strategy is in sync
It is critical to have a thorough people management strategy that is in line with the company's strategy and philosophy. Have specified systems, procedures, and metrics.
They should focus on selecting and aligning personnel to the organization's culture and values, and then optimising talent to execute the company strategy for collective results, from prospecting through leaving. As a result, as the business grows, so will its productivity and performance.
Team Members Should Be Involved In Culture Discussions
Request that your team members participate in ongoing, in-depth cultural discussions. Discuss your culture openly and openly, including both acceptable and unpleasant habits.
Also, talk about the best strategies to onboard new hires as a group. Finally, check in with new hires to evaluate how effective your onboarding process is at teaching them about your company's culture.
Determine and Live Your Organization's Values
Determine your company's values and make it a point to live them out. Employees learn about culture by seeing what you do rather than listening to what you say. Model the behaviours you want to see, explain expectations clearly and frequently, and provide both positive and negative feedback.
Every day, speak with everyone on your team
Speak with everyone on your team every day, even if it's only for five minutes. Let them know how important they are to you and that you will be available if they call. Recognize what's going on in their lives.
Inquire if they have any other requirements. Maintaining a strong culture from afar requires deliberate effort. Don't be so focused on getting the task done that everyone assumes you just care about that.
It is not necessary to scale culture; instead, inclusiveness must be encouraged so that people feel included rather than excluded. In a virtual working environment, giving individual attention is possible and well worth the effort. Align your actions with the company's values, which are compatible with theirs.
Share a meal with a coworker who works from home
Leadership strategies, attitudes, and behaviours that can be scaled for remote teams are reflected in culture. Managers should act in accordance with the company's mission and values, which should be represented in all of their interactions with employees.
Having lunch with a remote employee, even if they are in a different time zone, is one tiny technique to help offset any proximity bias.
Be Open About Maintaining The Culture
By building contact points and asking the workforce if they feel a connection to the existing company culture, business owners can grow the company culture.
Ascertain that new workers go through a thorough onboarding process that covers the company's mission and vision. The leader can also be transparent about the growth that is taking place and the desire to sustain the culture that they have created.
Organize morning meetings to get the day started
To begin with, working remotely necessitates scalable systems and methods. Once everything is in place, there are activities, and duties that build the business culture by combining remote working and togetherness.
Morning stand-ups to explain what's on the schedule for the day and what's important are tiny but essential for assuring visibility not only for productivity but also for team support.
Weekly company meetings should be scheduled
In the distant world, maintaining and creating business culture requires a careful and continuous communication cadence for small teams.
All-hands huddles are brief and frequent, bringing the entire team together on a daily basis without taking up too much time. In addition, it advocates holding a brief weekly company meeting on Friday after lunch to recap the week's successes and recognise significant employee achievements.
Break Up Large Teams In ‘Squads’
It's significantly more necessary than you might think to have a good remote team culture for scaling company culture. It's one thing to put together a team; it's another to get them to work together for scaling company culture.
We can take a lesson from the software development industry and divide large teams into squads to maintain an agile and intimate atmosphere. Each squad is kept interested, focused, and motivated by working on a specific initiative.
One issue that small business owners face is how to keep their company culture intact as they expand. Rapid expansion can creep up on you, leaving you feeling as though your company's spirit and principles have been lost for scaling company culture.
Hiring Procedures That Are Strict
One of the most effective methods to keep a company's culture alive is to employ it carefully. Make certain that your new personnel are not just qualified, but also a good fit. When interviewing, take a team approach. Make sure they'll get along with the people they'll be working with every day for scaling company culture.
Talk About Your Values
Ensure that your company culture and values are front and centre during the hiring process; this will assist your prospects in making their decision. During the interview process, though, don't forget to bring up your company's principles and culture.
Make sure that your company's onboarding procedures establish clear expectations so that new employees are aware of your company's culture from the start. Ask interview questions based on the ideals of your firm for scaling company culture.
Employee Achievements And Contributions Should Be Recognized
This should always be a part of your company culture because it encourages employee satisfaction and loyalty. Recognize milestones in your people's lives, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and significant achievements. It shows the staff that you appreciate their efforts for scaling company culture.
These are a few pointers to get you started. It is feasible to keep your company culture intact during a period of rapid expansion, but you must make a conscious effort; it will not happen on its own.
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- Strong cultures are built on strong values, and defining yours early on can help you develop a strong scaling company culture.
- The first step in determining your core principles is to meet down with your leadership team and determine what differentiates and distinguishes your firm for scaling company culture.
- Begin by explaining your company's principles during your first contact with a candidate, and be sure to ask questions during the interview that will help you assess cultural fit for scaling company culture.
- This will not only make them feel welcome, but it will also allow them to understand the role that culture plays in the day-to-day operations of your firm and how those principles are applied to the business for scaling company culture.
- Creating a feedback-friendly culture and regularly checking in with your staff through meetings and anonymous surveys are excellent strategies to ensure that you're obtaining accurate, honest feedback that you can act on.
- Align managers on expectations and goals so that your company's journey to the next stage of growth is seamless and interesting for both new and existing personnel and for scaling company culture.
- Everyone unifying behind agreed ideals creates a company culture. If your remote team is international, the way each person displays these principles may differ for scaling company culture.
- Speak with everyone on your team every day, even if it's only for five minutes. Let them know how important they are to you and that you will be available if they call. Recognize what's going on in their lives.
- To begin with, working remotely necessitates scalable systems and methods. Once everything is in place, there are activities, and duties that build the business culture by combining remote working and togetherness.
- Request that your team members participate in ongoing, in-depth cultural discussions. Discuss your culture openly and openly, including both acceptable and unpleasant habits.