Creating a kick-ass culture

Justin Cooper Added over 4 years ago

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Google - who ranked number one in Fortune magazine's 2013 list of best companies to work for - is famous for being one of the first organisations to install a nap room, where employees can have a power nap during office hours to rejuvenate themselves and boost creativity. Zappos (the online shoe and apparel store) offers its employees free health care and free lunches. It even publishes an annual 480-page ‘culture book’ which consists of two paragraph entries from its employees describing the company culture.

Culture always comes from the top and percolates down the organisation. So the first step is to articulate that culture. In the case of Google the culture includes statements like “you can make money without doing evil," "you can be serious without a suit," and "work should be challenging and the challenge should be fun." At Zappos their core values include “Do more with less” and (my personal favourite) “create fun and a little weirdness.”

The days of printing turgid values on a card that include things like “honesty and integrity” (a.k.a no liars and cheats please) and "passionate about the job we do” (a.k.a. no lazy bums please) are hopefully gone or if not – then seriously numbered.

What’s needed for a good company culture statement is honesty and a sense of humour. People want to work for real companies, lead by real people – not cardboard cut-outs. So when you’re thinking about hiring someone and you need to map out your culture, do it from a personal perspective. Avoid the buzz words and talk from the heart.

It’s like a dating service – you’re looking for the perfect match for your business, and so is the prospective employee. Use language that describes the organisation you want to build for the future and you’ll attract like-minded people to it. Oh and don’t forget to include a nap room…


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Posted by Justin Cooper at 6:43 pm 0 Comments

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