Often the story of poor employee engagement seems connected with companies that have been around for a long time. Typically, these organizations hold on to how things have always been done. With such a long history, it’s no surprise that there is a resistance to new processes and crafting a new culture. However, we live in a world of growing companies. These young, new companies are founded on ideals of innovation and effecting change. While it’s easy to have a pulse on employee engagement and to carefully create the company culture in the early stages, most organizations struggle to hold on to their roots as they grow.

No young company expects to survive without innovation. By and large all the good ideas have been taken. In order to advance, organizations must innovate their product/service offering. But what about their company culture? Most organizations don’t take enough time cultivating their growing company’s culture, until it’s too late. As organizations grow, owners must ensure that the collaborative, trusting environment that was essential to fostering the innovation that built the company, is maintained through growth.

The most important element of maintaining a strong, desirable company culture is onboarding. As owners in a growing company expand and begin to hire managers, it is imperative that these managers not only have the skillset necessary to get the job done, but that they will also be responsible for contributing to the cultural identity of the company. One of the biggest mistakes a young company can make, as it relates to ensuring the survival of the original culture, is to hire for skill and not character. Very few skills can’t be learned on the job. Doctors, lawyers, and handful of other degree-heavy professionals can’t afford to learn things live. Most everyone else, in almost every other profession, can be taught how to do a job. So, when young organizations think to the future of what their business will become, a critical component of that vision should be what the company culture will look like.

If organizations maintain the company culture that defined them in the beginning when they had no employees, then the employees that join as the organization grows, will have a fantastically positive experience. It is so much easier to maintain positive culture during growth than to let it grow wild and try to fix it later.

In a recent podcast, we had the opportunity to speak with Head of Talent at Atlassian, Bek Chee. In our conversation, we learned that this is an organization that epitomizes this concept maintaining strong, positive company culture. Founded in 2002, in Sydney Australia, Atlassian boasts impressive employee engagement scores in excessive of 80%. Employees love working there. When asked how the organization accomplished such an impressive feat, Chee responded that the company had always stayed very close to its roots and maintained the great culture it was built on. For more insights on cultivating an incredible employee experience, listen to the rest of the podcast at Forging Employee Experience. Feel free to reach out to Bek Chee via LinkedIn. By keeping a hand on the metaphorical culture steering wheel, growing organizations can ensure they never lose what made