Mar 06 · 7 min read
Building a company people love to work at
An often used definition of company culture is the set of shared attitudes, values, goals and practices that characterize it.
It is the difference between companies that are in it for the long term and companies that are in it to make a quick buck.
Long term thinking means treating all your clients right and aim to offer them a 9+ experience. In order to do that you have to treat your employees the way you want them to treat your clients.
In essence, to create a customer-centric culture, you have to build an employee-centric one.
How we are making a difference
We have shifted the focus from hierarchy to community, connecting our people to one another in ways that empower them and increase their sense of belonging, connection, and security.
Part of this is establishing strong company values. Instead of rushing to paint a few cool sounding words on the wall, we believe in letting it emerge. What we mean by that is that an example is set by the company founders, followed through by the first people who get on board and then given form by the whole team, together.
We did that through a culture session with the team. Here we defined certain words that everyone agreed were defining our culture. Then the next step is to couple those words with behavior. Asking what kind of behavior fits that company value.
What you then accomplish is putting those values in the context of your organization which is really important for new people to understand what it means.
Another very important aspect is transparency. When knowing what is going on in the company, everybody is in a better position to make informed decisions on a daily basis.
Everybody is kept in the know on revenue, the goals for the year, where we are planning to open new offices, mistakes we’ve made, successes we celebrate and when we are looking for new people and new ideas.
Communication is so important.
Recognizing that it is a two-way street is key here. By creating a vibe where it is encouraged to be honest, share your mistakes or when something is not going perfectly smooth in your personal life, we can adapt and overcome by helping where we can. It can be that you need some time off to get some things back on track or just that you are ready for more responsibility within the company.
If there is no incentive for open communication, what you are building is broken.
More friends and family, less ‘that someone from the office’.
Hire for skill AND personality.
A great way to do this is to hire happy personalities. It’s ‘best practice’ to focus on relevant experience and past achievements when interviewing a candidate. And you should focus on that of course. But only hiring for skill is a mistake. The greatest person on paper might be the worst person to bring into your team.
A best practice we would like to share is to be very aware of how you feel around the person. A person’s energy has a tremendous impact on the rest of the workplace. You want to look for a positive attitude, someone who cultivates a growth mindset and a communication style that fits with the rest of your team.
Be community minded
A very simple one but o so effective. We are committed to diversity and inclusion. Having people in the team from different nationalities and backgrounds, it is important that everybody feels safe and included. No outsiders.
An easy way to start is by encouraging people to simply say hi to each other. A well-meant good morning can come a long way in making someone’s day. It is actually an incredible way to build a sense of workplace community and something that busy focused people forget.
This way of acknowledging people can change the entire atmosphere and make your workplace be a much nicer place.
Show that you genuinely care
Ever heard of the Hawthorne effect? It’s the increase in productivity in the workplace when people feel that they are cared about. It makes people happy to be asked how they are and for you to take a little time to find out how things are going in their lives. That doesn’t mean spending hours at the water cooler having conversations about people’s lives. It means remembering to take the time to say, “How are you”. And then listen.
Another great way is a weekly recap to reflect on what went really well this week and something that could be improved. It can be work related or something more personal.
By having people open up to each other they will create a deeper connection towards one another. Seeing that nobody is perfect and that there is a vulnerable side to everyone creates trust.
Get Out of the Work Routine Occasionally
This can be anything that makes the workplace a happier place. Treat people to something fun. Have dinner with each other, take them out of their comfort zone to a hot flow yoga class, rent a boat and enjoy the view on the water, plan a short trip abroad. There are loads of things to do that brings people closer and takes their mind off of work.
Anything you can think of to make people feel that you are doing something nice for them will make people feel happier.
Where we go for Yoga every two weeks
Make sure to do the little things that make a difference in people’s lives. It won’t be a major cultural change at first but slowly but surely, your workplace will become a better place and people will do better work.
Our two tips for you as a soon-to-be part of Team AMS
You are unique and have your own talents and experiences. But when you are not yourself, you change. You change who you are and what you are about. You change your thoughts and beliefs and you become someone who tries to please others instead of pleasing yourself. You become someone else instead of being yourself.
Being yourself is important because you will not be happy otherwise. Empower and love yourself. And live your best life.
Instead of only proving you fit with us, also make sure AMS fits with you
If we are sitting across from each other for your job interview, you are just as interviewing us as we are interviewing you. For inspiration, check out this article we wrote earlier: 25 questions to ask during your next job interview
Make sure that what you are walking into is a place where you will be happy. Life is short and we spend a major part of it at work, amongst people working at the same organization. Therefore it should be something you enjoy. There will be challenges and there will be less favorable moments, but that is also part of life. It is how you deal with them that makes the difference. And believe it when we say that it is way easier to overcome challenges when you feel there is a team having your back.
If you want to learn more about us check our website, our Instagram or directly our careers page.
If you have any questions, feel free to message me on LinkedIn.