Many startups are struggling to stay true to their core team values due to high rates of fluctuation. Involving your team members in the recruiting process can help maintain a consistent, yet evolving company culture.
Have you ever wondered why your employees are happy walking into the office every morning? I do! Every single day actually, because my fellow Bridgemakers are happy (despite the usual morning grumpiness) and treat it like a second home. As a matter of fact, I am happy to come to the office every day. Of course, we also have tough days but we still find a way to have at least a little fun while working long hours.
We seem to have found a way to make our team a family, and our office a place like a second home. It’s not that we have the fanciest office equipment or exceptional goodies, but we have a culture that I have not seen in any other company before. Not saying it doesn't exist but it still made me wonder why we developed this spirit.
A reason for that might be our great team chemistry but one specific action was taken just last week. It made me realize how unique our team is in its very core:
The employees developed the idea of a changing Feel Good Officer (or FGO as they call it). The “FGO’s” task is to make everybody’s day a little more pleasant. Some colleagues started by buying chocolate, others organized little Ping-Pong challenges to get everybody energized after lunch, and some wrote little letters for each team member saying what they like about them and how much they cherish the other person.
We tried narrowing down why we all got along so well and found many reasons. In the end, though, it all came down to this: we cherish feedback and we learn from our mistakes. No one is perfect and we don’t expect anybody to be. We want people to take charge of their projects, we want to exceed what we thought were our limits and we help each other along the way.
Like every other start-up we are struggling with the task to expand our team rapidly over the next few months. New people in your team bring new inspiration, new ideas, new skills. But how do you sustain your culture, if your team is changing so fast?
Get the people on board that are already “on your team!” We tried this by conducting a workshop aimed at finding the most important characteristics that make us ‘Bridgemakers.’ We then created the Bridgemaker avatars who embody all these traits that we are looking for in a new hire. Which better way to keep a culture if you ask your employees to define their ideal new co-workers?
In this workshop we followed our office policy and did not differentiate between CEO and intern. The Bridgemaker Avatar is a result of everyones opinions. Unsurprisingly, the characteristics were those traits we value most in each other:
Based on this list we developed policies for our recruiting process to help us hire people with these specific traits. At the same time, we are still maintaining a healthy diversity among our team members to foster creativity. After all, we might be a very diverse group but we share similar beliefs on how teams should work. It’s the essence of what makes us happy to come into office every morning and to spend the day with our fellow Bridgemakers.
Doesn’t this sound like a nice place to work at? If you think you might be a Bridgemaker, we’d love to get to know you! Visit www.bridgemaker.com/join-us for the latest job openings at Bridgemaker or one of our dynamic ventures.