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Seven Ways to Build and Improve Company Culture

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Seven Ways to Build and Improve Company Culture

By Faith Gabriel

Posted on: 07 August 2019

Building a culture requires more than just good snacks and a standing desk; it's all about setting your employees up for success in the workplace—which feeds into their personal growth. Ryan Seamons posted a similar idea on his LinkedIn: "Perks don't equal culture."

A good culture is built by our employees, for our employees. We like to think mobileforming does a good job of encouraging this, so we’ve identified seven employee drivers that define any good company culture.

To be recognized and rewarded. 

Recognition can be as simple as verbal affirmations; but to really have an impact that keeps employees present and dedicated, we need to provide our employees with 360 recognition. Three-sixty recognition gives your employees feedback and credit from their peers, managers, leadership, clients, etc. At mobileforming, we use tools like Bonusly to facilitate recognition from team members, peers, and managers. It also allows us to see what our employees value the most—going above and beyond, sharpening each other’s skills, or maybe teamwork. 

We want our employees to know we are rooting for their success, and we do that by prioritizing fierce rewards. This might scare some employers into thinking: “am I going to spend more money on retaining my employees than I am paying them?” Rewarding your team doesn’t have to be costly. Make it worth your time and money by instilling trust and flexibility at the core of your program. 

To be led by strong managers. 

Strong managers are not only key to the success of any team, but they are also the reason why many employees stay with a company. Their skills go beyond managing or delegating. They inspire and motivate. We cultivate our managers through continuous learning, training, and development. Culture Amp has a great resource that highlights 11 traits of great managers and how to hire and develop them. Strong managers lead strong teams that no one will want to leave.

To work with fun and smart colleagues.

If you spend 40 hours a week with the same people in the same place, it might be a good idea to like them. mobileforming’s coworker culture means a lot to us. We are scrappy—sometimes nerdy—mobile superheroes. That is the precedent on which we built this company, so it will be how we continue to expand our team. If you're looking to join our team, check out our opportunities

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Some of our team took a day to explore E3 2019

To be given meaningful and challenging work.

We have no expectations that everyone who comes to us will retire with us, but we want to make sure we give everyone the opportunity to learn, build, and enjoy what they do. To make our mark on mobile app development (or in any industry), we must be intentional when it comes to the work we do and assign. Each team member gets to hit the ground running with projects and tasks that challenge them—let it be a junior developer right out of college or a senior QA ready to learn something new.  

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Part of the iOS development team working together to solve an issue

To be provided with career growth, lateral or vertical. 

On a similar note, employees want to grow in their careers no matter where they’re working. A career is not stagnant. It’s always evolving, and as employers, we can facilitate that. How can we do this? By listening to our employees and setting the right goals. Our favorite types of goals to set are SMART or OKRs. We can anticipate career trajectory by mapping out what employees want to accomplish, and then we can give them the resources (training opportunities, Udemy courses, etc.) to ensure that they’re reaching their potential career growth—laterally or vertically. 

To be given flexibility and autonomy.

Probably one of the most driving factors in a culture that retains and invests in its employees is flexibility and autonomy. At mobileforming, we talk a lot about trust. We trust our employees. No matter what time they get into the office, they’re putting out amazing work 40 hours a week. When working from home on Fridays, they’re still collaborating via Slack or email. We don’t micromanage because we trust in the work ethic and quality. This allows employees to flex their muscles both creatively and technically. And that continues to amaze and delight us. 

To work for an organization with strong social and ethical responsibilities.

In today’s world, companies everywhere must stand for something or risk standing for nothing. Companies are responsible for setting an ethical standard for their employees, products, and services. Employees are very aware of this, and they’re leaning towards employers who mirror their own values. Our values are clear to people from the interview process to on boarding to two or five years later. We root every action we take in those values, and we’re always working on being even better. This is why we are proud of our employee-run social responsibility program, socialformers. Our employees now have a part in creating this culture of accountability and doing good for our community. 

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socialformers meet up with our local YWCA board

Even though we understand what drives our employees (and how to look for a great culture fit), our people are what make our culture. Our people are the foundation of consistent recognition, good working relationships, intentional work, challenging goals, and a range of values. We’ve learned to invest in employees who are more than just great workers—they’re mobileformers through and through.