“A good culture to recruitment is like a good product to marketing.” – Dharmesh Shah, founder of Hubspot
I have an incredibly strong belief and passion for culture and believe that culture is something that is going to happen whether you to choose to shape it or not, so why not play an active role in making an environment people love to work in?
I believe a great culture makes everybody who experiences it enjoy their work, and in turn empowers incredible efficiency, creativity and ideas. That said, culture isn’t built on flexible working hours and Friday beers, but on a conscious effort to define and shape for the better the way we act as individuals and as a team.
These 7 points are my attempt to do exactly that, define a favourable way of acting that when adhered to is going to create an incredible culture people want to be a part of.
It’s about support and autonomy, not hierarchy and management
I truly believe that talented people in the right roles only excel when given the freedom and autonomy to do their thing.
It is the managers role to ensure this freedom and autonomy is extended to the employee, and they are free to do what they believe is best in the circumstances.
It is every member of the teams duty to support each and every other member of the team, and empower them to do their job as best as they can.
Be radically transparent and honest
I truly believe that we work best when we are all aligned and moving towards the same mutually-agreed goal, and have a very clear understanding of how we’re going towards achieving it.
It is the managers role to ensure that each and every team member knows the goal and has a deep understanding and contribution to the pathways taken towards achieving it. It is also the managers role to ensure the teams knows how far down the path we are to achieving it.
It is every team members role to ensure there is complete transparency within the team. We are only as good as our combined knowledge and experience, and therefore we must work together to learn from each other and leverage that combined knowledge and experience to achieve our mutual goals.
Foster an environment of constant learning
‘I fear what I don’t know, and this drives my thirst for knowledge’ – Some BBC presenter once said this in an interview I was listening to, and is probably the one quote that has resonated with me most in my life.
I truly believe in the power of constant learning. It is the role of managers to foster an environment which encourages this constant learning, whether this be through peers or more formal education channels and is something I am ruthlessly dedicated too.
It is the role of each and every team member to ‘stay curious’ as Steve Jobs would say. Read lots, don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues or professionals for their help and take on things you don’t know how to do (there’s always Google).
It’s about work + life, not work vs life
No matter how great the culture is, you also need to enjoy life.
It is the role of the manager to ensure that life is not being compromised for work. In my team, you are free to work whatever hours you choose ( I usually work from 7-3 as I like to go surfing in the afternoons) and you are free to work from home if that’s what you feel is best for your current circumstance.
It is the role of each team member to ensure they maintain a good balance of work + life. There is no hard and fast rule for this except: Use your best judgement.
Be maniacal about metrics
I truly believe that what can be measured can be improved. We operate in a digital business utilising digital marketing tactics, which means that every user interaction can be measured, analysed and improved.
It is the role of each team member to work together to ensure that there are appropriate metrics and systems in place to measure the effectiveness of their work, and more importantly to learn how to iterate and improve on it.
Be agile, fail fast and defy conventional wisdom
I truly believe that the world of digital marketing is moving so fast that to be successful you cant be afraid to try new things and embrace failure.
It is the managers role to ensure that failure is not something that is frowned upon, but is viewed merely as a learning experience. This then empowers everybody to try new and unconventional things in pursuit of new success, with the knowledge that it’s perfectly ok if it doesn’t work.
It is the role of every member of the team to call out assumptions and conventional thinking. We must not blindly choose to go or not go down a path based on unverified assumptions or conventional wisdom. Instead we must devise the minimal viable way to test the success of the path.