The second edition of After Hours, a series of events organized by The Recursive and BICA Services, took place at the beginning of September. The panel discussion was dedicated to building a company culture, and how different perks such as breakfast in the office, etc., affect this process. We were represented by Teodora Lazarova, Chief People Officer at Anthill. The After Hours series aims to explore everything regarding tech talent, company culture, organizational development, and IT career development in the local innovation ecosystems.
Building a successful company culture
To figure out how important is the company culture for the success of a company, it’s vital to learn more about the impact it has. This phenomenon plays a huge role in attracting and retaining talent, as well as supporting the growth of an organization.
“For me, company culture is not really about perks or benefits. It’s about the work atmosphere and environment we create for employees,”Teodora Lazarova pointed out during the event.
When discussing company culture, one thing that needs to be highlighted is that there is no unified formula for building a good environment. To establish a positive atmosphere for employees, you need to understand what they need and value the most. To guarantee workers feel they’re at the right place, the job has to provide them with the opportunity to feel a positive impact on their personal lives or the whole society.
Leading by example is another successful way to establish good company culture. The C-level executives and management teams should follow these values and believe in them. Through their actions, they empower other people in the company to follow their lead and be in sync with the mission.
Perks to support a good culture
Implementation of certain perks can be beneficial to help a company highlight its culture. But they can’t be what lays in its foundations.
“All the perks that the employer will provide have to be very carefully selected. They have to be in sync with the needs of employees. It’s important to learn what they’d like and how it affects their day-to-day lives,”Teodora explains.
Based on the preferences of employees, companies can develop different strategies to make the experience more pleasant for workers. Some of the most popular perks such as breakfast at the office, free gym memberships, and many others don’t show any impact.
Providing opportunities for young people such as university students and junior developers to learn and gain experience is very important. This shows not only some of the values of the company based around knowledge sharing but also provides an opportunity for these groups of young professionals to get a head start in their careers.
During the After Hours discussion, the audience became very interested in whether remote work is a perk of the company culture. Teodora shared that for her, it’s not a benefit, but part of an organization’s vision, and how the management sees the future of work.
“The possibility to work from anywhere allows employees to have freedom and also establish a good work-life balance. It’s important that this model corresponds to the circumstances,”Tedi explained.
However, there are some turn-offs for employees regarding company culture. Teodora highlighted the lack of transparency as one of the main ones.
“Employees want to know who the customers are, what is the situation of the company, and to share what are the plans for the future, especially in these uncertain economic times,”she shared.
Teodora and the other participants in the discussion agreed that establishing a good company culture is dependent on understanding the needs of employees and what they want. And it is combined with the vision and mission of the founders and the management team.