This is the fourteenth issue of Culture Amp's weekly email updating you on all the best #peoplegeek news around.
"2/31 Company culture is not created by putting slogans on the walls."
We've said it ourselves, perks don't a company culture make. Yaniv Masjedi, co-founder an CMO at Nextiva, talks from experience on the matter, when their generous snack policy became unstuck. "The discontent with our snack program made us realize that perks weren't as important to creating a positive company culture as we’d originally thought.” So, they did something about it. "Our focus shifted quickly -- within days - to our people and how we could help each one of them build a career path at Nextiva with improved training and increased communication,” writes Masjedi. Interestingly, these are the things that consistently show up as key drivers of engagement (not pay and perks). Hmmm...food for thought.
Branson on company culture (3 min) OUR TOP PICK
Richard Branson makes some interesting remarks around company culture in this Q and A including, "anyone who has followed the Virgin story knows that our company culture has driven our success." Branson notes that their success was almost accidental, as they were just doing what they loved (lolling around on beanbags), and that in turn created great customer service. So how did they scale that? " We make sure that every new company that joins the Virgin family fits within the brand’s ethos and personality, which includes a commitment to making a positive difference for the wider community and the planet," Branson says.
Nick Francis, the co-founder and CEO at Help Scout, shares how they went about building a remote culture, something he describes as one of their best decisions. His first point is that that you can’t be something in-between remote and not remote, you need to go all on in. His second point is that "remote culture clicks when everyone has access to the same information.” Making the right hires is also crucial. "Our hiring process zeroes in on personality traits and values that align well with remote work", Francis writes. “We learned to only hire remote people that have a track record of excellence. Seeing as remote work is very flexible, the person has to be great at managing his or her priorities and working autonomously for large blocks of time with little to no management.”
John Ciancutti cut his teeth building an engineering team at fledgling Netflix, taking his recruiting approach to Facebook and now Coursera. In this article he puts forward the principles that make up his "hiring playbook". Whilst your hiring team may be small compared to established competitors, it's more nimble. Taking this advantage means being able to act quickly and with a (sometimes deeply) personal touch. This becomes all the more powerful when combined with being able to adapt and learn. Focus less on being 100% right in your hiring decisions, but on learning and collaborating as a team. Ciancutti closes with, "In the end, the overarching goal is to get better and better at hiring as a team as you grow."