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Cultivating Culture – a Guide for Founders.

According to a study by Boston Consulting Group, companies with above-average diversity scored 45% higher in innovation revenue. As a female founder, building a strong company culture is crucial for attracting top talent, fostering innovation, and driving business success.

In this guide, we’ll share insights from our LinkedIn Audio session with Raina Heverin the founder of ReCulture and fractional content director Keith Price. They joined Emmie Faust to discuss how redefining your culture within the company can help both you and your employees to thrive.

“Company culture is the backbone of every successful organisation. Get it right, and you unlock outside-the-box thinking and unmask hidden opportunities for greater impact.” – Raina Heverin, Founder of ReCulture

They shared valuable insights and helpful resources to cultivate culture within your company. And if you only take away one thing, remember: your employees are critical to the success of your business.

Multifaceted Nature of Company Culture

  • Company culture encompasses beliefs, values, behaviours, and decision-making processes that shape a business’s brand, both internally and externally.
  • It impacts every aspect of your organisation, from product/service delivery to customer interactions.
  • To ensure success, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), foster a collaborative culture where every team member has a voice. This inclusive approach helps prevent cultural erosion, allowing your organisation to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing landscape.

The Crucial Role of Values for Early Stage Founders

  • Defining company culture and values is crucial for early stage founders as it helps attract and retain talent, making them more influential in shaping company culture and as a by-product building their brand.
  • Values serve as guiding principles that care for and prioritise employees, giving them something to believe in and guiding decisions that shape culture.
  • Values are not set in stone and defining them is not enough; it’s an ongoing process to keep committing and using them.

How Many Values Is Too Many?

  • Aim for a concise set of 3-4 core values that are easy to remember and commit to, as recommended by corporate culture experts. Too many values can dilute their impact and become challenging to manage.
  • Focus on quality over quantity and deeply understand what sits behind each value. You don’t have to be everything to everyone.

Hire for Cultural Fit or Build Culture First?

  • “Skills can be taught, but passion and culture fit are priceless. Hire for passion and values alignment above all else.” – Shan-Lyn Ma, Founder and CEO of Zola
  • While culture technically precedes hiring, its articulation often comes later. Well-defined cultural values can be a ‘superpower’ to help hire great talent that fits both skillset and strategic vision.
  • Prioritise hiring individuals who embody the behaviours and values you want. Those who can add to your culture, align with your values, bring diversity in thinking, healthy conflict and challenge to stay innovative.

Maintain and Evolve Your Company Culture

  • Empower employees to champion your desired culture by creating dedicated groups or sub-committees. Design a culture that fosters ownership and drives success.
  • Utilise tools like Net Promoter Score for external insights. Prioritise regular check-ins like daily chats over coffee or weekly walks to build trust and stay attuned to employee needs.
  • Implement pulse checks such as a weekly 15/5 score, regular team meetings, Q&As, and anonymous surveys to gauge sentiment and ensure all voices are heard, as advised by culture experts at CultureIQ.

By cultivating an authentic, employee-centric culture, female founders can build thriving, innovative organisations primed for long-term success.