The quick answer is no, you do not really need a foosball table. You also don’t need a well-stocked beer fridge, free lunches, or office Segways.
Foosball certainly translates a laid-back, fun-loving culture into something you can touch. (Just as a Bevi transforms a forward thinking, sustainability-minded culture into something you can taste!) And these things might be the perfect expressions of your workplace culture. But they don’t make a culture on their own. After all, what good is a tube slide between floors if your culture demands professional business wear every day?
Your workplace culture should be evident in everything you do, from the way you approach a project to the benefits your employees enjoy. Then, it should be talked about widely to attract the kinds of talent who will make a great fit. Because ultimately, you want employees to be as excited about your 9am strategy meeting as they are about your 5pm cocktail hour.
Here’s how to make that happen.
1. Paint a picture of culture
Start with your company’s mission and vision. Then go beyond, to the less obvious values and beliefs. Think about what sets you apart in your industry, or in the world. Do you excel at collaboration? Do you prioritize learning and? Do you approach your work as both meaningful and fun? Considering your collective values, beliefs and interests will help give shape and form to your workplace culture.
2. Tap into top talent
As you determine what you value, check in with your top performers. Find out what you’re already doing that’s keeping those folks happy. Dig into what brought them to you initially as well as what keeps them motivated in their day-to-day work. These nuggets of culture, some you may not even be aware of, will help you attract more of the same kind of talent.
3. Perk it up
When Apple added full education reimbursement to its list of benefits, the message was clear—Apple cares about learning and development. Other companies offer flexible schedules with remote work options, unlimited and untracked vacation time, and even paid monthly housecleaning. Fabulous perks, indeed. But also, emblematic of cultures that value work-life balance, mutual trust, and time to recharge. Get clear about what you value and believe to can attract like-minded employees.
Show what you care about to attract employees who care too!
4. Pull it through
Once you’ve aligned your benefits and perks, keep going. Weave your laid-back culture through everything you so, so that prospective employees feel it long before they see the foosball table. Flow your collaborative approach beyond your open floor plan into the way you talk, the way you interview, and the way you present your company on social media and beyond. Make your culture something that can be identified and felt beyond your office walls.
5. Talk about it
Once your culture is in place, talk about it. Everywhere. Share snapshots of your culture on social media, talk about it in your job ads, and weave it into your interview questions. Get your employees to talk about it too. Make videos, host events, and speak about it at conferences. And sure, if it’s right for your culture, maybe even hold that foosball competition you’ve dreamed about.
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