How to Create a Winning Company Culture

“Culture” is the soul of your business. Neglect it at your peril. May 30, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The job market has certainly improved in the past decade. Competition heated up after the financial crash of 2008 but, today, all that’s changed: A record number of people are employed, and staff turnover rates have gotten much higher.  Related: 7 Steps to Build a Winning Sales Culture In short, companies need to do more to retain their top talent. While optimal office environments like those at many of the big tech companies (Google comes to mind) are well known, smaller businesses cannot compete with such lavish expenditures. So, what can a startup — your startup — do to make itself attractive to its employees and job candideates and benefit overall from a winning culture?  Seven things: Hire for your culture.  Whatever stage your company is at, it will already have some semblance of a […]

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Want a Killer Culture Like the Top Tech Firms? Start Some Company Rituals.

If your workplace culture isn’t alive with positive rituals, you may be losing top talent and street cred. May 23, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. A recent Blind survey revealed that LinkedIn has the happiest employees in tech, with 83.25 percent of the company’s employees reporting they’re happy at their job. It’s worth taking a look at LinkedIn’s corporate culture, which is enlivened by an assortment of event-based company rituals. In addition to hosting regular speaker series and wellness events, the networking giant hosts weekly gatherings for its employees like “Beers for My Peers” in the New York office’s speakeasy. It also hosts a monthly “InDay” for volunteer work, team-building exercises and exploratory projects. Some of the hottest tech brands in the world rely on internal ceremonies to establish a tight-knit atmosphere and nurture their company vibe. Consider Flipboard’s weekly Mock O’Clock. The food-fueled experience […]

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How Culture Saved Our Company After Nearly Killing It

Culture would probably be your most relevant metric if it could be easily quantified. May 6, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In August 2016, I faced a task many startup founders fear most: I had to lay off more than 50 percent of our staff just two years after founding my company. I personally had to look these team members in the eye, tell them they’d be losing their jobs that day and watch their expressions of surprise, confusion, betrayal, fear, sadness, anger, and disgust. I sat in the empty office that night and cried, feeling embarrassed, dejected and terrified. Even after the massive layoff, we had just three months of cash runway. To make it past three months, our revenue would need to grow by more than 25 percent each month while spending very little. Rather than panicking or making rash decisions, […]

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This Technology Company is Proving Happy Employees Are Productive Employees

Derek Lundsten, Chief Executive Officer for Scrimmage, talks about the relationship between educating employees and their performance. May 4, 2019 1 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Derek Lundsten, Chief Executive Officer for Scrimmage, discusses the company’s evolution from pilot to profit, and how their unique approach to mobile learning promotes personal development for organizations big and small, as well as encouraging employee engagement. Lundsten and The Playbook host David Meltzer share their thoughts on the impact that Scrimmage’s award-winning educational platform has had in terms of generating consistency and impacting performance in a positive way for organizations in a variety of industries. The pair discuss their personal playbook to maximizing an individual’s talents through continued education and the need to be humble enough to seek out others who can teach new lessons. Related: Failure Comes With 2 Options. Which Will You Choose?   Read_More Related posts: Tiffany Wojtkiewicz Is Proving […]

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Allbirds’ San Francisco HQ Celebrates the Past But Looks to the Future

The historic building has been given a fresh makeover by the eco-conscious footwear brand. April 15, 2019 4 min read This story appears in the April 2019 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Allbirds may be only three years old, but the San Francisco–based footwear brand is all about the future — at the company and beyond. The eco-conscious company uses 90 percent recycled packaging, which has cut down on waste by a third since its introduction in 2017. Allbirds’ signature material is merino wool, a sustainable option produced year-round by the namesake sheep breed. And the company recently partnered with nonprofit Soles4Souls to distribute lightly used shoes to those in need around the world. That forward-thinking mindset extends to the company’s headquarters itself, located in the Jackson Square Historic District on a street that managed to survive the San Francisco Fire of 1851. Inside, as employees brainstorm new designs, products, […]

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How a Set of Strong Company Values Drives Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

CEO Ashley Morris breaks down the importance of a strong company culture. February 26, 2019 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop is a fast-casual and upscale fast-casual sandwich shop that makes a variety of hot and cold subs. Ashley Morris, the CEO of Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop, has a strategy of hiring individuals with more smarts and experience than himself in order to generate a team with talent. Keeping true to the company’s mission and values helps to bring about alignment within, and from that a culture is able to form and establish itself. Ashley explains that individuals gravitate towards a place where they feel a strong connection, especially regarding the value system of the company. At Capriotti’s, Ashley wants to create a strong culture via their company values and wants to gather together individuals who think similarly about them. For more on […]

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How to Transform Your Culture From Toxic to Peak Performance

Employees agree to a code of conduct. You are not the bad guy for enforcing it. February 19, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The losses incurred from not discarding the bad apple that then spoils the others in the fruit bowl metaphorically rings true when it comes to dealing with toxic workplace cultures. The mental, emotional and financial costs of not managing the bad apple(s) can be colossal and sentence a business culture into irrevocable ruin. Related: Creating a Business Culture That Values People Professors Christine Porath and Christine Pearson surveyed 14,000 CEOs, managers and employees to explore the impact of abusive and uncivil behavior on employees. They found: Almost 50 percent of employees decreased their work effort and intentionally spent less time at work 38 percent “intentionally decreased” the quality of their work 25 percent of employees treated uncivilly admitted to taking out […]

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13 Prison Slang Terms You Should Use With Co-Workers

You thought prison slang was reserved for hardened convicts and characters of ‘Orange is the New Black’? February 15, 2019 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Prison life is hard. It requires its own language, a slang understood only by those who experience it. Do you know what else is hard? Your job. While you might not be confined to solitary, your cubicle might sometimes feel like a cell. Or sometimes, even a death sentence. When you’re at your most pessimistic and your boss is being a dick, when the co-worker next to you is about to drive you to some heavy level manslaughter shit, you need the right slang to truly articulate how horrible life can be in the cubicle cell in which you live (or, maybe it’s not so dramatic and you just want to have fun). Related: The Many Pros and Fewer-Than-Expected Cons […]

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The Next Big Steps in Business—with Matt Gartland from Team Flynn

Matt Gartland: Yeah. It’s tremendously exciting, gratifying, and probably, mostly just a humble moment for me, and certainly for the team. Because as we’ve talked about today, we didn’t necessarily know, I didn’t necessarily know it was going to lead to this tremendous moment, right, but it naturally, I think, led there. You have always been . . . Pat Flynn: You’re listening to one of my team members, Matt Gartland, who I have on the show today, to make a huge announcement with you about the SPI brand, about where I am in business, and about where we are in business. Matt’s been on my team for quite a while. Some of you may not even know what our relationship exactly is, and my relationship with the team is. I’m just going to tell you upfront, right here before we get into it, that up until January 1st, I […]

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How This Company Sticks to Its Values and Empowers Women

C’mon Let’s Rally CEO Candice Blansett-Cummins believes in working somewhere that aligns with your values. December 18, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. C’mon Let’s Rally is a coaching company for women and business leaders that seeks to help women find their authenticity, alignment, and power. Candice Blansett-Cummins, the Founder and CEO of C’mon Let’s Rally, believes in working somewhere that aligns with your values and supports them. This mentality allowed her to develop a business around what is important to her and achieve an understanding of her vision for life. Candice explains that a company with a strong culture retains its employees and overcomes talent pool challenges by having a clear vision, mission, and values. Check out the fill BizCast video for more on Candice Blansett-Cummins and C’mon Let’s Rally. Related: How This Company Uses Culture to Drive Innovation Entrepreneur Network is a premium video network providing […]

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In Defense of Strong Organizational Cultures

A recent analysis of Netflix’s culture fails to mention that none of the critiques should be news to Netflix employees. December 17, 2018 5 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The Wall Street Journal’s recent critique of Netflix questioned whether the company could maintain its “winning culture” while growing at “breakneck speed.” The authors spoke to more than 70 past and present Netflix employees, many of whom said they felt the “Netflix way” was demoralizing, dysfunctional and even ruthless. They also addressed different aspects of Netflix’s culture, including the way people are let go and the practices around transparency. What they did not acknowledge, however, was that none of this should be news to Netflix employees. Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures At Netflix, people are hired, promoted and fired according to a very clear-cut, explicit ethos, set out with clarity on the careers website […]

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Check Out the Top Company Cultures of 2018 (Infographic)

Careers site Comparably just released its annual ranking. December 10, 2018 1 min read How do you want to shape your company culture in the coming year? From November 2017 to November 2018, careers site Comparably surveyed nearly 10 million employee ratings across 50,000 U.S. companies, asking workers more than 50 questions about how their company stacked up when it came to compensation, leadership, opportunities for professional development, work-life balance and perks and benefits. The top five large company cultures this year are Costco, Google, T-Mobile, HubSpot and Aflac, with a couple of changes occurring from this time last year. Costco went to #1 from being #35 in 2017, unseating Google, which was #1 last year. T-Mobile rose from its #14 position in 2017, toppling Facebook which fell to #16 — perhaps unsurprising considering its scandal-plagued year. Check out the full list below.   Read_more Related posts: These Were the […]

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Sustaining Company Culture Is Crucial for the Long-Term Success of Your Business

In the long run, businesses or organizations that don’t have strong cultures often deteriorate. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. As Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” Growing up in northwest Missouri, our local high school football team — and the athletics program as a whole — was a bit of a laughingstock. However, as I entered high school, a new group of athletic coaches took over and implemented new tenets that allowed their players to be successful. Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures Values and expectations were made clear. Everyone understood what it meant to be part of an organization. The coaches emphasized personal responsibilities, trust and the overarching idea of putting the team first. Self-policing among teammates occurred more regularly, and some of the most empowering moments of personal growth actually occurred without coaches present. Almost […]

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What Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues Taught Me About Leading a Company — and 6 Tips All Entrepreneurs Should Practice

Franklin’s ideas provide a powerful blueprint for building a successful gaming company — or any kind of initiative. November 2, 2018 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Benjamin Franklin is a role model for anyone building a gaming company. He was brilliant. A live mind. Creative. Consider his magic square, one of the original American games. It’s a Sudoku master’s dream — and a challenge for even a computer to invent. It’s said that Franklin was so bored as a clerk at the Pennsylvania Assembly that he kept himself occupied by making up mind-twisting mathematical puzzles. Related: How Shopify, Hubspot, Oath and Peapod Supercharged Their Company Cultures This Past Year Franklin was also an extraordinary business and civic leader. He knew how to delegate, he knew how to network and he knew how to raise capital. He ran his own printing shop, then franchised his business to […]

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To Build a Resilient Culture Stop the Blaming and Shaming and Start Showing People Respect

Everything you’re trying to accomplish with your team is much likelier to happen if people are emotionally safe. November 1, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Workplace humiliation is far-reaching and spreads like wildfire. Digital stones are being thrown, and shame campaigns are drowning in social media. Real-life consequences are imprinting the lives and livelihoods of many and what is posted, shared or boosted has implications for everyone involved. Blaming, gossiping, name-calling and harassment are a reflection that shame has permeated your culture. What about the public shaming of staff in front of colleagues, delivering public reprimands or reinforcing that humiliating people are tolerated by the eye rolling, the back-door conversations or when no one does anything? Related: A Critical Leadership Problem Many Companies Don’t Even Know They Have When leaders embrace shame as a management tool, the tapestry of your organization has been […]

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The Bigger You Get, the More Attention Your Culture Needs

In a great work culture, people are excited to work with their peers, even if the work is grueling. Here are five tips to create that kind of culture as you scale. August 27, 2018 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. In the age of the internet, cultural breakdowns don’t stay secret for long; companies like Nasty Gal and American Apparel can attest to that. Despite the obvious lessons to be drawn from their experience, how many startups actually paid attention? Not many. Take the once-proud online health insurance brokerage Zenefits, for example. Once valued at $4.5 billion, Zenefits took the growth model to the extreme, according to Quartz. Sales teams worked long hours and drank at the office, making the startup feel more like a college fraternity than the Silicon Valley unicorn it was. Eventually, Zenefits’ bad culture caught up with it. After high-level executives resigned, alcohol […]

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For This Company, Maintaining a Healthy Culture Means Not Taking Itself Too Seriously

Sidebench thrives thanks to a collaborative workplace and irreverent traditions like peanut butter, jelly and Nutella days. August 27, 2018 2 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. What are the most important aspects of your company culture? In this video, Entrepreneur Network partner Business Rockstars profiles Sidebench, a digital innovation lab and venture studio, about what makes its culture tick.  “Generally, we try not to take ourselves too seriously,” says Kevin Yamazaki, founder and CEO. One way the design team does that is by organizing a “design party,” which helps everyone get out of a creative rut and think in new ways. For example, the team created Pokemon cards for each other, showing each designer’s “special power.” Collaboration is also key at Sidebench. The company accomplishes this with standup meetings throughout the week, reviews and retrospectives on projects, and regular all hands meetings.  To learn more about Sidebench’s approach to company culture, click […]

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Why Marketers Are Working With HR to Take Ownership of Company Culture

Culture is the foundation of your brand and culture begins with the people you hire. July 17, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Company culture is one of the commonly overlooked things to tackle when building a business. Founders often think it’s something extra and fun, but it needs to be something you’re proactive about as soon as you start hiring. Culture components like atmosphere and work-life balance, according to Randstad’s latest employer brand research, are key to both attracting and retaining talent. They found that 45 percent of respondents see work-life balance as a reason to choose an employer, while 28 percent see it as a reason to quit. Work atmosphere also accounted for 44 percent of answers, and flexible arrangements 32 percent. Related: These 5 Companies Were Rated Best for Work-Life Balance. Is Yours Anything Like Them? How you build your team to work […]

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The Best Things at Work Are Free (or at Least Don’t Have to Break the Bank)

You don’t have to offer fancy perks to have engaged employees. July 2, 2018 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Every day I talk to people who tell me they can’t afford to make their workplace cool enough to attract top talent. They think they don’t have what it takes to build the kind of workplace culture of companies like Google or Facebook or Warby Parker. They believe that making work a place your employees want to be costs money, and lots of it. Related: 10 Examples of Companies With Fantastic Cultures Here’s the good news. As Google leadership development advisor Fred Kofman and author of The Meaning Revolution says, the one thing companies must offer doesn’t cost a dime. “Any company that can provide a sense of meaning, purpose and happiness will be able to attract great talent,” Kofman told CNBC Make It. My research with […]

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How to Keep the Culture That’s Driving Growth as Your Startup Scales

When your business is growing fast is when your culture is most at risk. Only your team can preserve it. June 13, 2018 6 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.  A company’s culture is and always will be, the root of all growth, innovation and momentum. In a recent study called “What leaders need to know about organization culture,” author D.D. Warrick writes that “organizational culture can significantly influence the performance and effectiveness of a company; the morale and productivity of its employees; and its ability to attract, motivate and retain talented people.” In other words, cultivating a strong company culture sculpts strong teams, empowers individuals to apply their passions to a communal vision and encourages the open transparency crucial to engendering and sustaining a collection of flourishing, synchronous and diverse minds. Warrick, goes on to highlight that “cultures are like precious and prized treasures” that need to be maintained […]

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