As an MSP (or other business), you might not think of your company as a startup, but many of the fundamentals that can lead a startup to success can also lead an MSP to success. One thing that’s rarely spoken of when it comes to business planning is corporate culture. Happy employees will want to stick around, and happy employees will get more done, so having a solid, strong, and flourishing corporate culture is something that can insure business continuity.
There are a few tips for promoting a productive corporate culture that I came across on Mashable. These tips come straight from the minds of successful startup companies, and should help you promote your own happy, productive corporate culture. Let’s take a peek.
1. Write down your values
The first thing you need to do is come to an agreement on what is important as a company. You’ll want to involve many people—this isn’t just for the higher-ups. Your company culture should be determined by everybody at the company.
According to the article, Allyson Downey, founder of weeSpring , used to sit down with her team to have what they called “family therapy sessions.” In these meetings, everybody wrote down what they felt were the company’s values then compared the answers and compiled the ones people most often agreed on. This allowed them to list all of the things they found most important. You can try this in your organization and once you know what’s important, you’ll have a few pillars to build your culture on. Your company should always work towards upholding these values throughout the life of the business.
2. Hire the right people
Your corporate culture depends on the employees it’s comprised of. This means finding people who fit is crucial to maintaining the culture you’re cultivating. Jessica Herrin of jewelry sales company Stella & Dot even suggests looking at the cultural fit before even looking at skill-sets. If they have the right skills but don’t fit culturally, you might not have a good match for your company. Also important to note is that no matter how much time you take to find an employee you think fits, you probably won’t have the best match 100 percent of the time. Try your best to find people that match your needs, but when you end up with people that aren’t working out, you might save yourself some trouble by finding a replacement quickly.
3. Change as you grow
You’ll have to recognize that things change as you grow. The sad truth to this is that not everybody will make it in the long run—you’ll probably have to let people go as you get larger, and you might even end up hiring someone to take on the role you currently fill. As you grow, your company will gain new needs and will require people with more advanced skills that might trump the skills of those you needed at the beginning. That’s not to say employees should fear for their jobs, and you will probably try your best to keep on as many people as you can, but there are some things you can do to help them grow professionally along with your company. You can inspire a lot of loyalty in employees by investing in them, so before you decide to hire replacements, think about whether it’s better to invest in hardworking employees so that they have the opportunity to learn the skills your company needs.
4. Create the environment
You can’t simply expect people to be motivated on their own, and you might not be able to motivate them at all. As Brad Feld, managing director at Foundry Group, said, “You can’t motivate people. You can only create a context in which people are motivated.”
You need to create an atmosphere where employees have attainable goals and are rewarded for meeting them. You want people to be recognized for their successful efforts, so when a particular individual or department has finished a large project, make sure they get credit and are rewarded for their efforts.
5. Promote Transparency
This tip might not work in all situations, but a lot of companies are disclosing everything from what all of the employees get paid to who owns how many shares to what big decisions are being made in the organization. The idea is that by disclosing salary information, they promote trust within the organization, which means employees are comfortable with their salaries and don’t have to worry about what sort of decisions are being made in the background. Employees want to know where the company is going because employees’ lives are in no small way tied to the success or failure of the organization. Giving them first-hand knowledge of the inner workings can promote confidence and allows them to feel included rather than shut out.
Again, disclosing things like salary information might not be right for you, but there are certain levels of transparency your company can benefit from, so carefully decide how much you’d like to share with employees.
Corporate culture is only a part of the battle. How do you create a strong brand? Check out or MSP rebranding guide to find out.