Entrepreneurs Need to Focus on Culture, Not Perks

curated from Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur and CultureIQ are searching for the top high-performing cultures to be featured on our annual list.

I like to define culture in terms of a high-performance culture, one that exhibits qualities like communication, collaboration, mission and value alignment, innovation and accountability.

I’m not saying that perks are bad. In fact, perks can enhance culture, but they shouldn’t serve as a substitute for culture

Here are a few lessons about crafting a high-performance culture that I’ve learned along the way

Listen to your employees

In each of the three companies that I’ve founded, I had a vision for building a solution and a company.Then I recruited great people and formed teams to help pursue that vision. In every single case, the product and solution expanded beyond my initial vision, and it became better, more beautiful and functional than I had previously imagined.

Foster personal and professional development

I’ve seen some great examples of personal and professional development programs that do not need to cost a dime. One of my favorite examples is reverse mentoring, where junior employees mentor someone in a more senior role about their expertise. My marketing manager is decades younger in her career than me, yet she is much more fluent in the world of social media and she coaches me on navigating this critical component of our business.

Create traditions grounded in values

One Friday as we were taking off for the weekend, I wanted to acknowledge how committed we’d been all week, rather than just saying “see you soon.” Spontaneously, I shook hands with my two colleagues. It felt like an appropriate way to punctuate everything we had accomplished that week and also a sign of mutual respect for a job well done.

Be creative, and be a community

It didn’t matter that the award was a plastic toy. What mattered was that the award was rooted in traditions, in employees and in shared experiences.

 

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