Your startup’s company culture is your identity to both internal and external networks, telling people what your company stands for, what it does not stand for and how it functions. Depending on how your target market perceives your company culture, it can attract or deter them when it comes to doing business with you.

Define, and Document Your Company’s Core Values

The first step in establishing your company culture is creating a value statement. What do you value in the workplace? How do you see your team members working and interacting with each other? Establish what you and your company stand for by getting everyone involved in brainstorming company values and goals as a team. Make sure all members of your company have a chance to give their input on how they think the company should run and which values are important to them. Narrow down and have your team vote on the list of values so that you can come up with a concise list that everyone is on board with and write them down. Lastly, put them somewhere where everyone can see them! Whether that’s on your company website or on a plaque in your office, make sure that your team can go somewhere to be reminded of the values that they all agreed upon.

Hire Those That Embrace Your Values

Don’t be afraid to be selective in hiring your team members. The people you choose to hire become a representation of your company, so it is important that they agree with the company’s values. During job interviews, take some time to explain the basis of your company’s culture and some of the values you expect that the members of your company embrace. Asking a potential candidate how they feel about those values and ideals can help your company in determining if that candidate will be able to align with the culture you are creating.

Welcome New Ideas

Creating a positive company culture starts with being open to new ideas. In order for your company to grow, it is important to welcome fresh insight from your employees and take their thoughts and opinions into consideration before making important decisions. When a team member does not feel like they are being heard, When you allow your employees to be creative and give them the freedom to brainstorm and give input, they will see that their thoughts are valued and your company will have no shortage of motivated employees or innovative ideas.

Give Credit Where Credit Is Due

Who doesn’t like to hear a ‘well done’ or ‘good job’ every once in a while? When someone is doing their best, it is only fair to show them that you appreciate their work and that it is not going unnoticed. A little goes a long way in terms of gratitude and a sign of appreciation. Modeling this kind of behavior will also encourage your team to show the same appreciation for each other, creating a company culture where people are recognizing and acknowledging each other’s strengths and showing that they are thankful for the work that others are doing.

Help Others Succeed

Whether it be through allowing your employees to work on projects that incite their passion or giving them feedback and opportunities to grow, show your employees that you will support them in their efforts toward success and personal development. Help your team succeed by providing them with both positive and constructive feedback that helps them identify their weaknesses build upon their strengths to help them become more effective team members. Providing feedback and creating opportunities for your employees to thrive shows them that you care about their success, not just the success of the company and you that you want to create an environment where they are enabled and empowered.