Use your experience
We’ve all had good jobs and bad jobs. Some of those had good cultures and some didn’t. Take what you’ve learned from those experiences and shape your company culture around the things that were successful.
Stay true to your brand
You are in complete control of your brand. If you value creativity and innovation, create a culture that reflects that. Reward employees that are “all in” on that vision and promote the ones who push those values to the next level. If you want your culture to embrace collaboration, then set up your office atmosphere so it encourages it.
Nothing will screw up your company’s mojo faster than a lack of communication. Keep your office looped in on what’s going on, not just with the day-to-day operations, but the big picture as well. When your employees are informed, they’ll feel trusted and valued. Honest communication will create trust and loyalty.
Build a diverse team
Having an office full of clones might be a good idea if you’re a tech company with Steve Jobs’ DNA on hand, but I wouldn’t recommend it. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Know your own weaknesses and keep those in mind when you’re building your team. Have team members who complement each other and can help turn those team weaknesses into strengths. Think of your team as a machine, figure out the parts you need, and turn that machine into a well-oiled and productive one.
Unplug every once in a while
Everyone needs a break every once in a while. Don’t work yourself or your team to the breaking point. Sometimes you need to shut down the machine and let it rest. Keeping your team from burning out should be a priority. Make sure you and your employees keep a good work/life balance and it’ll keep the team productive and happy.
A business is a business but it should still be enjoyable. Happy hours are always fun, but more simply, just find time to enjoy life and relax with your team every once in a while. Sometimes when you don’t feel like smiling, it just takes one laugh to break out of a funk.