Coworking spaces have many advantages: Great design, inclusive services, and flexibility as your team grows; however, as you are working to your build your company, being in a shared space can make it challenging to build a coherent team culture. Far from being an “extra” or a “perk,” a strong team culture is essential for employee recruitment, engagement, and retention as your company scales.
In order to ensure that you create a sustainable, scalable company culture be sure you have these elements in place:
To have a lasting impact, workplace culture and cultural initiatives must be guided by a company’s mission and values. If your company doesn’t already have a mission or set of values, work with your leadership team to define them.
Your mission statement is a short, written statement about your company’s goals, philosophy, function, markets, and competitive advantage—it’s supported by your values. These guide how you implement that mission and navigate ambiguity by defining what is most important to your company.
Having a well-defined mission and values will help your team know their purpose and vision, even if you are in a space with many other companies. To keep your mission front of mind, if you have a private office within your coworking space, you could create a poster with your mission and values to post on the wall, or find a way to highlight them in your group chat or team meetings.
Coworking spaces are popular in part because they provide amenities, whether it’s free coffee, beer on tap, or networking and community events; however, planning your own events and creating company traditions can help form the basis of your unique company culture; one that’s separate from your coworking space.
Create regular opportunities for team members to connect with each other outside of your office. These can be guided by your mission and values and could include a regular weekly coffee break or team meal, a monthly happy hour, or an annual day of volunteering.
In addition, make sure your team feels connected to each other by regularly highlighting employee accomplishments and contributions. Create time during team meetings for shout outs and appreciation, make a plan for how you celebrate team birthdays and anniversaries, and create branded employee gifts that also contribute to a sense of identity.
Creating culture should be a collective effort. A strong culture is responsive to employee interests and ideas because when your colleagues feel heard, they are more likely to engage with your culture and feel like they’re part of the team.
Even if your team is small, work together to get them engaged in the culture-building process. In order to do so you can:
- Solicit ideas for culture building in team meetings or via a quarterly culture survey to learn more about your team
- Form a “culture committee” with representatives from different departments, in order to get team input, and help with planning cultural activities
No matter your company’s size or phase, a strong culture is crucial to creating a great employee experience and attracting and retaining top talent. To help you create a coherent company culture, Managed by Q created a free guide, “Creating a Great Company Culture,” based on our experience working with thousands of companies across the United States and helping them to build great places to work. Download your copy for detailed guidance on building a company culture your team loves, no matter where your office is located or how you plan to scale.
This article was written by Eleanor Whitney, the Managing Editor at AllHands.