Your Internal Ecosystem: Gelling the Business Culture

by Ashley Hobb

3 min read

To grow a business, it’s important to have the right team in place. It is even more important to create the environment that enables your team to succeed. A company’s internal ecosystem includes its hiring practices, company culture, processes, tools and leadership. It takes a lot of planning and grunt work to create the right in­house setting for growing your business. Here are some tips so that you can build a strong internal ecosystem from the beginning to set your company up for success.

Attract and keep the right people
Mark Zuckerberg recently said, “I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.” That is great advice for small business owners to live by, but a company in its infancy can have difficulty identifying and attracting top talent. Luckily, there are some things you can do to give yourself an edge in finding the right people.

Create a vision and clearly connect everything the company does to that vision. You need to identify what is required to take the company where it needs to go and it is important for employees to picture themselves on that journey. It is also crucial for retention reasons to have people on board who are aligned with the vision of your company from the beginning.

Leverage your company’s unique benefits 
While it can be difficult to compete with big companies who can offer higher salaries, those are not the only things that a potential employee looks for in a new position. An entrepreneurial employee is going to look for more intrinsic benefits from a position. If you invest in creating positions that meet and follow through on these motivations, you’ll have a dedicated and high performing team in no time. Some ways to create attractive positions without increasing salaries include: ­

  • providing a new challenge
  • opportunities for growth
  • autonomy over the work
  • ­attractive title

Define your company culture
Another key to building a strong internal ecosystem is to define the organizational culture you want to create. Is it important for your team to be innovative? Process­oriented? To drive results? Clearly defining your culture will make it much easier to identify whether a potential hire will fit in with that culture. It also ensures you aren’t hiring someone who is going to discover they don’t fit in with the company after just a couple of months into the job.

Enable the team to succeed
Once you have the right team in place, you will want to create the environment that gives them the greatest opportunity for success. Some entrepreneurs tend to shy away from processes or want to keep control over every aspect of the business. However, good processes can reduce duplication of effort and free up employees’ energy to focus on the areas that can benefit most from brain power and creativity.

Another trick is to use tools that enable your employees to connect and collaborate (especially when they’re not in the same physical space). Slack is a work app that is innovating team communication. Apps like Basecamp and Asana make it easier for teams to manage projects, have discussions and assign tasks. It is worth the investment (in both time and money) to get your team organized and working together effectively.

Finally, don’t be a manager; be a leader. Many people can manage a team by delegating tasks and overseeing completion. A great leader will present a problem and inspire his/her team to create results. Leading a company requires a lot of work. Make your job easier by hiring a team you trust and then trusting that team to work towards the company’s vision. Otherwise, you are at risk of getting burnt out and you are risking your team’s commitment by not giving them the freedom to do great work.

Create the ecosystem that attracts the right team and sets them up for success, and your business will reap the rewards.

Photo copyright: Rawpixel

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