While many start-up founders aim to expand with rockets, rapid growth alone is no guarantee of success.
This is because without a strong corporate culture to support it, growth is certainly not sustainable. In the worst case, growing too fast can even lead to the failure of a company.
How do you charge sustainable Growth?
An example of a company that does this is CRI Genetics, a DNA testing company based in El Segundo, California. Since its inception in 2016, CRI Genetics has grown from a startup to an established industry player with a 9-digit rating and innovative products. Today, this privately funded company competes with the best in the genetics industry with an agile team of experts that Alex Mulyar, Founder and CEO, built from the ground up.
I sat down virtually with Mr. Mulyar to discuss how building a culture based on growth and personal development has contributed to the success of this company. Here’s what he had to say.
Self improvement and development are just as important in the workplace as it is in our personal lives
CRI Genetics is built on a culture that values employee development, personal growth and excellence.
“Put simply, our corporate culture is like a SWAT team,” says Mulyar. “Every member is a top performer in their field and we fully trust each other to work at the highest level.”
Team members are also encouraged to continue improving their skills, and CRI often encourages team members to develop further through books, courses or workshops.
“The result is that the team members are constantly improving and learning – which of course also leads to growth within the company. My favorite saying is, “Books are the cheat codes of life” because you can get more than 10 years of experience from a book you can read in just 30 days. ”
The reward of individual excellence supports team excellence
It’s well known that recognizing and rewarding the excellence of individual employees can improve work ethic and create a more positive work environment – but it can also do more than that.
Making employee reward and recognition part of your culture can go a long way in supporting the overall performance of your entire team.
“We’re growing fast as a company because our team members are growing fast,” says Mulyar. “Most often I see the team members who are the fastest moving up in the company. We have had team members who have grown from entry-level positions to management within a year or two simply because they were hungry, read books, attended courses, and then achieved results within the company. ”
The introduction of specific values or “pillars” can improve the cohesion of your team
Creating a strong, positive corporate culture that can support the growth and development of a business requires intentionality. At CRI, according to Mulyar, employees work on the basis of the “Five Pillars” developed by him and his team and recite them regularly at their weekly team meetings.
1. Put the customer first—This means a commitment to produce the highest quality product, as well as an “Efficiency Guarantee” which guarantees users their money back if they don’t get any results within 8 weeks of submitting the results.
This customer-first approach also includes the obligation to keep customer data absolutely confidential and secure.
2. profitability– As a privately financed company, CRI must remain self-sufficient for continuous growth. That focus resulted in them making a profit by the end of CRI’s first year. Since then, the team has doubled the company’s sales every year.
3. Speed of implementation– Team members are encouraged to try new ideas frequently and test them quickly to validate or discard them. This comes into play in the company’s frequent A / B testing for marketing, as well as new product development, where new ideas are often turned into product form within a few weeks.
4th High standards– All internal and external projects are completed on a high quality level. “There is a tension between speed and quality, but the team is constantly working to find the balance between fast iteration and delivery of a high quality product,” says Mulyar.
5. integrity– Companies cannot grow without a high level of trust among team members and between the company and its customers.
Mulyar credits these pillars for helping the team stay focused, organized, and purposeful. “Whatever your goals, make sure they align with the culture you want to create for your company,” he says. Whether you have pillars, a mission statement, or some other code of conduct, this should drive and reflect your goals. ”
For Mr. Mulyar, these goals and the culture can be summed up in one word: growth.
“We only grew so quickly as a company because our team members grew so quickly in their respective areas,” he says. “I strongly recommend other entrepreneurs or managers to coordinate these goals and cultures.”