Sales, financing, strategy…certainly these are crucial topics to a business and very often founders concentrate on important matters like finding the right investor or optimising their product for the perfect market fit. Not less meaningful but often paid less attention to is the company culture itself. But how can you create a stimulating and healthy work environment for your team?

It’s about the core structure and the soul of a company

Semir Chouaibi, founder of Berlin-based innovation design agency ITR8, has worked in product development for both, big companies and startups. When he first started enpact’s mentoring programme, he was still part of his former startup. “For the first time after getting funded and going full time, I had the chance to take a step back from the operating business and evaluate my situation.” After the first entrepreneurs camp in Egypt, he decided to start ITR8, an agency that provides digital product development as a service. Building up the right team and creating a fun and engaging work environment are critical to any company’s success. Big players like Google, Facebook or Twitter are famous for their company culture and score usually high in rankings. But there is more to it than benefits, free food or a ping-pong table, it is more about the core structure and the soul of a company. Are your employees commited to your business? And if not, how do you create this commitment?

Define your vision and make a plan

The first step towards this goal is to figure out, which culture fits the company’s vision and making a plan on achieving it. Semir’s concept on internal communication implies sharing all relevant strategic information within the team, not only with the decision-makers. “Clear communication structures and transparency are the key to building an environment of trust and mutual respect. Every team member needs to be in the loop on strategic decisions and should know where the company is headed to.” Standup meetings and open discussions are part of the daily routine. “Sure, you need to invest time and energy, but it is important to include all team members to keep them motivated but at the same time, this does not mean that there shouldn’t be a clear structure in the decision-making process.” For Semir, this concept is not set in stone. “This is the way I always wanted to work, but of course, I could be wrong. For now, it works very well but if necessary, we’ll adapt our structure, after all, we’re a startup.” And certainly the company culture changes as the business grows. Founders need to be flexible and should empower and include their team to enable entrepreneurial success. Read more about implementing a successful company culture and let us know how you picture a perfect work environment.