How do you create the right work culture?

Recently, @newscred ran a Twitter chat, the topic was: how do you create a culture of content in your organization? I’ve worked for 8 years now. I’ve been through 3 university degrees, and everywhere no matter what anyone says, I’ve understood one thing: one of the biggest impediments to successful project executions is not the technology, tools or anything fancy, but the people and their work culture. How do you create the right work culture? One of my favorite, Content Marketing practitioners said the following:

@BrennerMichael A8: Culture starts with who you hire, promote and fire. Followed by goals and measures that reflect customer-centricity #ThinkContent

It doesn’t matter whether it is a “culture of content” or a “culture of the morning chai”. My takeaway was this: “creating a culture” meant, hiring the right culture types in the first place.

And this lead to the next question: How do you create the right work culture? As  a CEO what should your hiring philosophy be?

Everyone has a different take on the same things. And I spoke with a start-up CEO, Toby Ruckert from Unified Inbox. He reflected:

We are present in 4 locations world-wide. I do not want to hire more than 20–50 people in each office. Crossing 100 people in an office means they no longer know each other by name. It creates the need for processes. There is no private productivity gain. With processes in place, a certain part of life dies.

Considering it is a company creating “simpler” communication, focused heavily on solving for increasing our productivity, I marveled at the simplicity and the depth of this thought. He is a Schwab after all, they tend to have these small hidden champions.

Hidden champions in Schwabenland have the most unique hiring philosophy: hire local, focus on loyalty, really know the people who work for you to ensure that connection.

These are companies where a couple of generations or more may work with the same “family” enterprise. With Unified Inbox, Toby is not creating a family enterprise, but a regular start-up. Although, this conversation about “personalizing workforce”, knowing people by name, and almost creating a small buzz culture, also reminded me of the hiring philosophy of the region at large.

The culture of putting people before the process (although Germans naturally love process 🙂 ).

The Unified Inbox website, tries to further articulate this coffee shop culture, focusing on what they’re solving for (productivity) and not on the processes. In fact they make it sound like a coffee shop with a great selection of other adds-ons referring to the start-up culture. Personally, I love the emphasis on “beach”, “no offices” among others :).

Apart from their copywriter, I also like the far-sighted employer branding. (#mustdowhenyouownastartupcompany)

You can see from our photos that we have no fixed office times, in fact, we have no offices. We work from home, a cafe, the hotel lobby, on the beach, in a co-working space, our friends office or whichever place is the one that makes us most productive. (Unified Inbox, website, accessed 16 Sept, 2014)

What is your hiring philosophy?

This article originally appeared on Medium.

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