How to Empower a Company Culture of Success

by | Aug 23, 2019

What better way to make your team own the company culture than allowing them to create it?

PwC estimated that by 2020, millennials will comprise roughly 50 percent of the global workforce. This means that companies will have to adapt and assume a new set of challenges to develop and create a different working environment and culture for their team.

Today, millennials are inevitably becoming a larger influence on the future of our business, while for many companies, baby boomers and Generation X still hold the steering wheel.

“The core products of today are not the core products of the coming years” 

We have 38 nationalities represented, different sexual orientations, and we are working to reach the 50% women rate. Our youngest team member is 21, and our oldest 75. We are present in 120+ different countries and are still growing, that’s why we take culture very seriously. 

In order to have a strong and inclusive company culture, we abandoned the traditional way of establishing the company’s core values. Our people created and owned the culture themselves. 

Here’s how you can look to do the same within your own organization.

Creation: Collective Thinking

Every year we do an annual retreat to share ideas, evaluate performance, propose new things, and to integrate as a team. 

During our first one in 2014, we asked all employees to think about their most important values. 

We took all those values and categorized them. We named those categories and then we did an election. Everyone voted for their preferenced value. 

That same day we came up with a list. Just like that, our company’s core values were created.

Collective thinking became collective ownership and that way we empower everyone to swear by those values.

Preservation: People Culture

After you create it, you have to make sure it preserves by hiring the right people. Our recruiting process is designed to evaluate each candidate by the “People Team” before they go through any formal interview with our different business units.

We want to make sure our team members have the technical skills required for the job, as well as personal qualities. If the People Team trusts the candidate and values their skills, it is more likely to fit into our culture.

Evolution: Feedback and Growth

Formal employee feedback is commonly used by most large companies, but a Deloitte public survey revealed that more than half of executives believe that their current performance management approach drives neither employee engagement nor high performance.

That’s why we decided to revamp the traditional feedback system. We believed we should have feedback mechanisms that keep up with our evolving culture. 

We use flexible and personalized open-ended questions to guide the feedback sessions, like:

“Imagine you can take up any role in the company today. What would it be?”

“What types of skills do you use the most day-to-day, and what do you think are your strengths?”

“Do you enjoy doing what you are good at, or would you rather do something you are unfamiliar with?”

It is important to focus your discussion on the employees’ future goals and aspirations rather than on past performance. That’s a good way to make them feel empowered.

Although no instruction can be an exact guarantee on how to make the right culture for your company, empowering your own team to be part of it, will help them and your company thrive.

I can say that I was fortunate to be able to develop our company culture from the ground up with a great team that has helped to preserve its essence, within employees, business partners, and shareholders. 

We feel very confident about our culture of success, and applying these recommendations should help you elevate yours as well.

Brian Pallas

Italian entrepreneur, CEO, and Founder of Opportunity Network, an invite-only network for select CEOs and private investors to grow their businesses worldwide.

Brian Pallas

Italian entrepreneur, CEO, and Founder of Opportunity Network, an invite-only network for select CEOs and private investors to grow their businesses worldwide.

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