Your company culture is what your company stands for. Many millennials these days look beyond salary and leaves when it comes to looking for a job. They want to join a company that allows them to be successful and happy. Most of us would define a positive company culture as Google. We all want to be that employer but it is easier said than done. It requires a lot of work to stick to what you believe in and ensure that you hire a team that has the same belief. The easiest way for me to relate to building a company culture is to treat your team like a family.
Be the mother
The one thing I have learnt from parents around me is that as a mother, you love your child unconditionally. To translate this into company terms, it means to include and embrace everyone regardless of gender, race or sexual orientation. As human beings, we tend to be biased towards people who are like us but always remind yourself of the famous saying that ‘strength lies in differences, not similarities’. As the “mother”, you care for your team like they are your children. Ask how their life is going, and offer a listening ear or a helping hand when needed. Caring is the foundation of a strong culture, be it in the office or at home.
Be the father
Like how a father will always make sure that their child has enough pocket money, ensure that you are paying your team fairly and take care of their medical needs. No matter how small is your team, figure a way to work out some form of coverage for their medical needs. You can even come up with a medical allowance for the team and unutilized allowance can be used for dental or eyewear expenses. This way, you discourage medical leaves that would result in a higher productivity. People like to be in jobs where they know that their well-being matters to the company. Working for several organisations, I understand that when employees have their needs being taken of and are happy at their job, the likelihood of leaving is low. The truth is, changing jobs is a very tiring process for both the employer and employee.
Be the child
While you have the tendency to take charge and get your hands dirty, learn to take a step back and empower your team to take charge. Most of the time, your team will do an even better job than you and you would want to knock your head against the wall for not doing it sooner. Also, learn to have fun with your team. Let the hierarchy go and encourage your team to have fun in the midst of making money. Nothing says more than a leader having fun with his or her team.
My last and most important words for entrepreneurs is to be genuine, always lead by example and know when you have to let go. People leaving is part and parcel of running a business. No matter how good you are as a leader, people change and move on to different phases of their lives and it’s not your fault that they are no longer on the same page as the company… but it will be your fault if you continue to keep them around. Remember to be humble enough to receive feedback and always strive to be better. Good luck!