8 Culture Hacks for Your Startup

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There's always someone doing something interesting with their culture. Looking for inspiration? These are just a few of our favorite hacks. Not the definition of culture itself, rather a reflection of who these companies are.

1. Have everyone pick their own theme song when they join the company. Play the intro of the person's song at company meetings before they speak. - Tumblr

2. The workstation, send someone on a vacation to work from an exotic destination. - Fresh Tilled Soil

3. Replace fluorescent overhead lighting with some ambient floor lamps from IKEA (those working late into the night will thank you!). - Stripe

4. Salary transparency. If you're paying someone a fair salary, you shouldn't be ashamed to hide it from the rest of the team. - Buffer, Ovuline, and others

5. Revolving front desk, it's a multi-tasking, people-facing responsibility that humbles everyone and says 'we're all equal here.' - Bizo

6. Similarly, a CEO swap or the effect of stepping into someone else's shoes increases the level of empathy and provides a fresh perspective at a company. - SEER Interactive and Moz

7. A no firing policy ensures you are fully committed to developing the people you hire. - Next Jump

8. Nap time at HuffPo is a serious thing. Founder Arianna Huffington explains the benefits of employee wellbeing and productivity in her keynote address at INBOUND 2013. - Huffington Post

*Bonus Hack*

Friday15 is a tradition that involves taking a break to tackle a brief creative challenge as a team. A great list of past challenges are shared on ZURB's site. - ZURB

Unsure of what kind of culture hacks to adopt? Make sure you consider these points...

  • Knowing who you are is key and you can't fake it.
  • Having a few ingenious ways to communicate your company identity is instrumental as your culture grows and matures. Encourage the entire team to contribute and participate.
  • Measure your culture often, act on feedback, make improvements accordingly. Repeat.

The true nature of your culture will develop and soon enough you'll see the fundamental identity and values reflected in the things you do. What are you doing that reflects your workplace culture?

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