There’s a reason houses on the beach in Southern California and bungalows in world-class ski towns cost a fortune. There’s a reason people would rather spend the evening with good friends than toxic relatives. It’s because people like to spend their time in enjoyable environments. Not really a novel observation, but, for some reason, not all companies seem to put this common sense to action when it comes to company culture. Consider this: job turnover at an organization with rich company culture is 13.9 percent, but the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is 48.4 percent. Employees leave poor environments. Who knew?
Remember: we’re talking rich culture versus poor culture. Not just any culture will do. Your company will develop a culture no matter what. But if you don’t create culture guidelines, it might develop into something you won’t like. Culture guidelines help you decide what attitudes to hire for. They remind employees about applauded and discouraged behaviors. And—if successful—can create fantastic work environments.
HubSpot has thoroughly outlined their company’s culture code. Here are four things you can learn from what they’ve done:
It’s easy to read.
No one will read long, stuffy paragraphs detailing your company culture. Make it easy to consume. HubSpot has broken their culture code into 7 points:
· We commit maniacally to both our mission and our metrics.
· We look to the long-term and Solve For The Customer.
· We share openly and are remarkably transparent.
· We favor autonomy and take ownership.
· We believe our best perk is amazing people.
· We dare to be different and question the status quo.
· We recognize that life is short.
Boil your culture down into some values. You can expand on these values, but people should be able to skim them in a few minutes and get an idea of what the company finds valuable.
It’s difficult for employees to live by a culture code if they don’t know what it is. Go ahead and Google “HubSpot culture code”. Multiple results will come up. That’s ideal.
If you can’t publish your culture code online, upload it somewhere all employees can access it. Print the code on posters and hang them around the office. Do something to make the code readily available so employees will remember what it is.
There are other benefits of making your culture code public. People who are interviewing with your company will be able to get a better understanding of what makes your company great (and whether or not they would like the environment). Also, other organizations might give you a shout out because they stumbled across it. (wink, wink)
It’s specific for clarity.
Sometimes when you boil things down into values, they become a little vague. For instance, what does HubSpot really mean by committing to both mission and metrics? Well:
HubSpot makes it clear that they’re committed to more than making tons of money, but that they’re logical enough to know that they won’t keep the doors open long if they don’t pay attention to the metrics. They do a great job of explaining any vague concepts their code introduces.
It’s got a little spunk.
Culture should be desired not forced. Have a little fun with your culture code. That way, employees won’t feel like they’re reviewing a heavy contract. Check out the way HubSpot inserts a little personality into their code:
They share something valuable (that they don’t stand for office politics) in a warm way. Nail down a voice for your company and sprinkle it throughout your code. It should be a voice unique to the personality of your organization so everyone reading it will get to know you a little better.
Whether you have one employee or one thousand, your culture will benefit from having a defined code. That way, you’ll be able to keep a deliberate environment through staff changes and growth. So define your culture code. Make it easy to read, easy to access, specific, and have a little fun.