What makes a job more than just a series of tasks you do to earn a living? What makes a workplace more than simply an office? What creates a community of collaborative friends and peers instead of just a group of employees who have to work together?
The element that accomplishes all this is culture. Creating a unique culture is what sets a company apart. It is what attracts new employees and retains old ones. Culture is what truly creates a successful company. Even if you have a great product and an even better business model, you can't make it work without a great team. To create that team, you need a culture that enables employees to thrive.
How did we go about building this culture? For us, it was all about creating an open work environment. On a typical day here at SimplyCast, you will see many employees walking around the office talking to other employees. We discuss challenges, share ideas and work together on projects. Our morning meetings keep us up to date on what everyone is working on. At break time, you can find the team enjoying a game of Foosball or singing their hearts out in Rock Band. Even our office layout adheres to the open philosophy. There are no walls or cubicles, encouraging the team to talk to each other.
We also wanted to create a culture of equality for our team. Each employee has a different role, yet each is essential to the success of the company. For this reason, there are no hard definitions of "boss" and "manager" and the management team doesn't get any special perks. This eliminates the sense of "us" and "them" and builds trust among the team.
We hire a diverse team with all levels of education and work experience, so we have a dynamic perspective. In early 2011, we launched our career program to attract new talent and help train the new generation of leaders in our local community.
Working with the local business community also involves partnering with other local companies and start-ups, such as Equals6, Interview Rocket, Oris4 and many others. We give young companies access to our resources and they share their services with us. This bolsters the local business community and helps new companies build credibility and grow. When GoInstant was looking for a CFO, SimplyCast allowed our own CFO to work with them part time to provide his expertise and help them grow their business. With his help, the GoInstant founders exited the company for $70 million. Giving back to our community is just part of what we do.
Culture is not just an afterthought or a luxury, only to be considered once a company achieves success. Culture is what builds companies. It has an integral impact on profitability and longevity. Culture sustains a company and keeps employees happy and working hard. Without a strong corporate culture, a company can never become great.