July 8, 2014

It’s All About the Culture

Written by

Small Business Examples of Great Company Culture

In my career, I’ve been lucky to work for companies with a unique approach to culture. Emma, for example, installed a kegerator and air hockey table, and even rented our local independent movie theater for epic big-screen Guitar Hero battles. Griffin Technology sent five of us 2,500 miles across the country in a 1972 VW bus to attend and exhibit at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES).

When I was younger, a stellar company culture wasn’t as common as it is now. You were lucky to have a job. Today, companies are just as keen to keep employees as employees are to flock to firms with the best perks. This is especially prevalent in the technology sector where great talent is hard to come by and even harder to keep.

It’s easy for huge tech companies to provide their staff with unbelievable perks. Facebook and Google are famous for this. But what about smaller businesses?

Heather Haley at Raven Tools told me about their shuffleboard table, stocked kitchen, open workspace, and no office phone policy. She also noted their big windows, which were recently decorated by post-it-note art from staff.

Letterlogic divides ten percent of its profits each month and splits it evenly among all employees. They also offer tuition reimbursements and help with down payments on mortgages.

Rustici Software pays for twice-monthly house cleaning, or you can choose from other items like home internet, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Pandora, Spotifiy, etc.

TechnologyAdvice Knows Great Culture

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll already know about the ping pong table, free beer, awesome patio, and cornhole at TechnologyAdvice. I’ve been so impressed by how TA treats its employees to several, free catered lunches each week, not to mention the amazing outings like laser tag, golf, professional development courses, and go-carts. TA even sent one staff member to become a developer by sending her back to school – for free.

A sign that a company has a major focus on its culture is the number of interviews it provides candidates. For example, TechnologyAdvice has a thirteen step process before a person gets offered a job. Hiring the right person goes beyond know-how and experience. They also have to fit in with the people they’ll be spending most of their day with. Every hire doesn’t always work out, but the process always pays off in the end.

Inc’s 12 Ways to a Great Corporate Culture

Inc Magazine spoke with business leaders and collected twelve ways to get a great corporate culture. I can tell you with confidence, TA understands these perfectly.

1. Value Staff Opinions
2. Listen to the Pronouns
3. Create an Innovative Office
4. Hire Wisely
5. Create a Dream Map
6. Create Bonding Rituals
7. Focus on Consensus
8. Forget About Weaknesses
9. Ask, Don’t Guess
10. Nurture Young Leaders
11. Share Responsibility
12. Look to the Future

I am proud of the steps TechnologyAdvice is taking to ensure it has a strong company culture and happy staff. I’d say that TA just gets it and as luck would have it, we’re hiring.

How important is company culture to you?