The narrative around company culture is shifting. Once thought of as an afterthought, companies are increasingly recognizing that building and fostering a strong culture is an essential component of growing a business and leading a company. In fact, Deloitte found that 88% of employees believe that a distinct workplace culture is important to business success.
The importance of culture is becoming rapidly clear, but building and maintaining a strong company culture, especially at scale remains a challenge. With each new hire, it becomes more and more challenging to ensure that your company mission and vision are being upheld, especially in today’s hybrid and remote work environment. However, a continuous investment in company culture, especially during a time of rapid growth and scale, can foster innovation, teamwork, and long-term value.
As the leader of a hypergrowth company, this has been a key area of focus for myself and my leadership team as we accelerate our growth and scale. Here are three ways companies can foster a strong company culture as they rapidly grow.
Celebrate Wins, Big and Small
According to Glassdoor’s Employee Appreciation Survey, 53% of employees said they would stay longer at their company if they felt more appreciation from their boss. Employee appreciation can and should extend beyond just raises and promotions. It should include recognition and celebration for individual and team accomplishments.
Showing appreciation for big wins, like hitting sales goals, releasing new products, retaining customers, or highly successful marketing campaigns should be celebrated, but so should smaller, often unnoticed contributions such as coordinating schedules, updating collateral, or maintaining documentation. Showing employee appreciation for success, no matter how big or small, can go a long way in boosting employee morale and can even be the difference between employee retention and attrition.
Invest in Employees, Both Old and New
Investing in your employees goes far beyond just monetary investments, such as swag, office perks, or even raises. It means investing in both their personal and professional growth, and mental well-being, and creating an open and transparent work environment, where employees can feel support both in their job and in their community.
At Nylas, we have regular Hackathons, where individuals from different departments and teams can come together to work on exciting projects that they can then share with the entire company. We also offer virtual meditation and yoga classes as a way to help employees clear their minds and focus on themselves and their day.
It is also important to not just offer vacation and mental health days but encourage them as well. After all, it is much easier for employees to embrace their benefits if they see their leaders taking advantage of them as well.
Make Culture a Core Component of Onboarding
As you scale, you’ll find yourself onboarding more and more new employees. While it can be tempting to fast-track the onboarding process and get new employees up and running within their respective teams as quickly as possible, the reality is spending some additional time during the onboarding process to discuss company culture can have significant long-term benefits and payoffs.
The best way to ensure that you’re keeping a strong culture intact as you scale is to instill it in your employees from the start. This not only helps employees to better understand the company’s mission and vision, but also establishes high levels of trust, transparency, and communication.
Lastly, making culture a key component of the onboarding process signals to both old and new employees the importance of company culture, especially during a time of rapid growth.
Scaling a business is never easy. And while hypergrowth can be one of the most exciting times in a company’s history, without the proper investment and focus on company culture, businesses can find themselves having to shift focus and rethink hiring and retention strategies, while companies that ensure their company culture is aligned with their business goals can successfully scale and reach their true potential, without losing sight of the values and mission that got them there in the first place.