Work culture is like personality of an organisation. How would people describe the work environment is determined by the work culture that is in place. Companies invest a lot in developing people friendly environment. Everyone knows about Google; how they pamper their folks.
But creating a viable work culture in a bootstrapped start-up is not only difficult but also consumes a lot of management bandwidth, which is hard to come by. And on top of that, if the start-up comprises mostly of college freshers; with an average age of 23, creating culture becomes exponentially difficult. At our start-up (TFTH), we tried to do the same and came up with some practical insights.
Here are some practical tips that can be used to create a culture that is going to last and will not cost much.
Culture is all about staying true
In order for culture to be instilled in any organisation, even if it be a start up, the most important thing is for the management to stay true to its people. Trust is a building block of work culture, which largely impacts what the people think about their peers and superiors. If there is a general tone of suspicion and dissatisfaction among the employees, you are going to find it hard to get any job done from them. This factor gains immense prominence with a team of college fresher’s, who are always bubbling with ideas but who are also quite harsh and abrupt in their approach towards situations. If you want your employees to follow a typical way of doing things, you have to set an example for them to follow.
Consistency goes a long way
Culture is not a one time job. It is more like a habit, which you have to inculcate in your organisation’s routine. In order to do so, you have to start by clearly laying down how you want things to be done in your organisation. Once that is done, you have to promote a practice of following those things regularly. For example in our case, we wanted to create a culture of data driven meetings and decision meaning. Thus, every time we were supposed to have a meeting, we distributed how we wanted to view the data and what was expected from everyone. This helped us in involving everyone and making them a part of the culture.
Patience is the best virtue
Just like good habits are difficult to form, similarly building the work culture that you want will require time and patience. And it can't be more true if you are building the team with college freshers. You must give them time to make mistakes, learn from them and then take their own corrective course to align with the culture.
Feedback loops are one of the fundamental guiding principles in engineering and it works quite well with human behaviour as well. In order to make your team understand the importance of culture, appreciate them whenever they follow it. And if they go wrong somewhere, then provide positive feedback. This action will go a long way in building the desired culture in your organisation and also help you manage your team of college fresher’s in the most unambiguous way
Have you used any of these tips? Or do you have any other tip that we can use?