Look at any successful company and you will see the team is part of a positive, empowering, inclusive culture. While culture forms “organically” in many businesses, companies with a clear mission, vision, and purpose take mindful steps to build and shape their company culture to support their growth trajectory.
In this episode of The Rebound, Australian futurist, author, and entrepreneur Steve Sammartino; Creative Director Tommy McCubbin; award-winning television presenter Rad Yeo; and APAC Marketing Lead at Shopify Bertie Ocampo break down how to build a great culture within your business to support success.
Encouraging your team to embrace the essence of your company culture
When managing a growing team, it often can be challenging to ensure everyone collectively embraces your company culture. But there are a few things you can do as a leader to proactively ensure everyone is on board, says APAC Marketing Lead at Shopify Bertie Ocampo. As a start, Bertie suggests trying to conduct one-on-one meetings.
“As leaders, our role is to continuously develop our people, teaching them new skills, and encouraging them to take on new and greater opportunities,” she says. “Development, though, can feel like a minefield. So how do you teach new skills without micromanaging, and how can you provide feedback without seeming critical? If you want to create a culture of learning, there’s no substitute for holding a regular meeting to discuss work and provide feedback.”
Bertie recommends breaking your one-on-one meetings down into three key components:
- Strengths and career development
- Understanding the work ahead
- Gaining valuable staff feedback
“Building a culture of trust and candour is challenging, and it doesn’t happen overnight,” she says.
Establishing and sticking to a rhythm of regular one-on-ones will foster the relationships you need to take your team to the next level.”
Nurturing culture in a startup
When a startup launches, there are a few key things its founders should do to develop and sustain a strong company culture.
Bertie explains that building a company culture doesn’t start on Day 1, it starts before Day 1. In fact, the minute you have two people working together, you’re already developing an organisational culture, identity, and values.
“As an entrepreneur, you probably have in your head some idea of what you want your company to be like. Be intentional about the values and the culture of your organisation,” Bertie says. “If you’re not out in front of that culture curve, steering it and setting the tone, a tone could develop which you might or might not like. Being intentional, starting it on Day 1 or starting it on Day 0 is absolutely critical.”
Creating company culture in post-pandemic remote conditions
Many companies have recently transitioned to working 100% remotely. With this comes a whole set of challenges in regard to maintaining and building a strong company culture.
Bertie says, “One of the best things you can do for your company is to create a positive company culture—and when your employees are working remotely this is absolutely vital.”
Below are four leading strategies Bertie suggests businesses can use to create a positive company culture with their remote team.
- Create or refine your company values. These are the beliefs and principles your company is based on. They define your vision and serve as a set of guidelines on how you do business. This can really help shape your company culture and identity, and it will help to motivate and engage your team on a common mission.
- Communicate your culture. What’s your business personality? Emulate this within the way you communicate with your team. It’s also great to set expectations for communication, make sure you’re easily accessible to your team so they feel like they can come to you when in need. “When they feel secure in communicating with you, they’ll be empowered to get their work done to the best of their ability.”
- Use tools to help manage your remote team. Tools have so many benefits for managing a remote team. Using the right tools to manage your team allows for open collaboration, productivity, and fun. Make sure you're providing the ability for your team to socialise with each other. Things as novel as being able to send chats, GIFs, or attachments throughout the workday go a long way to building a strong remote team culture.
- Create rituals and traditions. Morning huddles, short daily meetings, Zoom happy hours once a week, or eating lunch together over FaceTime—traditions like these will let your employees bond. Rituals and traditions can create a sense of community and belonging within your team, and building a sense of unity will have a positive impact on their happiness and work output.
Building great company culture: who is doing it right?
Australian fashion brand LSKD is built on culture from the inside out, with its team living and breathing the lifestyle they create products for, which is men’s and women’s clothing. LSKD comes from a nickname founder and CEO Jason Daniel had when he was playing motocross. His peers would call him “loose kid.”
Jason says culture is huge at LSKD, “We want to make sure we inspire our team internally to chase the vibe, which is a big part of how we built our culture internally. We wanted to bleed externally. We thought if we got it right internally first, it bleeds out externally.”
As LSKD built out its values, Jason says he wanted his team to “chase the vibe,” which is the company’s mantra.
“It wasn't about work,” Jason says.
We wanted them to be career-driven, but we also wanted them to have fun and enjoy the journey at the same time.”
Jason recommends organisations make sure they tie what they stand for in with their values and their mission.
Shopify has been an ideal platform for LSKD, as it lets the team focus on the brand and building community as opposed to having to work on the back end more than some of these other platforms.
We can focus on the brand community and our mission more than on the platform itself.”
- Hold regular personalised one-on-one meetings to ensure individual staff are on board with your company culture.
- For startups, build your culture before you create your brand.
- When managing your team virtually, refine and proactively reinforce your company values via a “virtual culture.”
- Invest in the right tools, technology, and platforms that help support your culture, brand, and community experiences.
About The Rebound Season 2
- Episode 5 of The Rebound Season 2 aired in Australia on Saturday, July 31st, at 12:30 p.m., on Channel Nine. New episodes are released every week.
- Each new episode of The Rebound will cover a different theme to address the most pressing opportunities and challenges facing entrepreneurs today.
- The themes, in chronological order, are: Skills, Design, Storytelling, Pricing, Culture, Growth, Future of Work, and Crypto.
- For more information about The Rebound, visit the website, where you can watch all episodes from season 1 on demand.