It is now a widely accepted fact that a company’s culture can determine whether it thrives or fails. This is because the culture you cultivate within your organisation has a significant impact on productivity, efficiency, employee retention and bottom line profitability. With this in mind, you must take measures to create the working atmosphere that you believe will provide the best results for you and your employees.
On top of this, culture is so fundamental to job applicants that more than one-third of U.S. employees will reject an offer for their dream job if the company culture isn’t right. This means that even if you offer a high salary with excellent perks, you still may not attract the top talent if you fail to put steps in place to foster a positive working environment.
Of course, each business and industrial sub-sector is unique, and there are numerous factors to take into account. That being said, there are some common guidelines you can use to assist you in establishing a fun, positive and productive company culture that will likely lead to an increase in employee morale and keep your personnel performing at their best.
Hire for culture
Your company culture starts with your hiring process. After all, the people that work within your organisation are ultimately the ones that will determine what the working atmosphere will be like. Therefore, when you are screening for potential candidates, you should make it very clear from the beginning what your company culture is and what will be expected of them.
Bear in mind that this should be a two-way process. The aim of the game is to find applicants that are a match for your company so that they will feel comfortable and won’t disrupt the current working environment that you are working hard to establish. During the interview, you could ask questions like:
- What excites you most about a new job?
- How has the company culture affected you in previous roles?
- What do you value most in work?
- Have you ever felt out of place at work, and if so, why?
If you want your SMB to have a fun, positive environment, you need to put steps to make that happen. One of the best ways to do that is by structuring time for fun and relaxation for your employees.
Whether it means playing laser tag once a month or enjoying an office happy hour on Fridays, the point is to allow some time for employees to wind down and get to know each other outside the traditional office setting.
Remember, you don’t always have to crack the whip. Often, you will end up getting more from your workers if you give them a bit of rope and allow them to enjoy some downtime here and there.
With this in mind, why not introduce some recreational time during the week (outside the normal break hours)? This could be something as simple as solving jigsaw puzzles, taking a walk outside, playing a round of Sudoku, engaging in Lumosity’s brain-training games, or even listening to music and sharing stories. Better yet, why not ask them what they would like to do and then go from there?
People want to know if they have done a good job. If they go the extra mile, work longer hours, but still don’t get any recognition for their efforts, likely, they will soon become disheartened and stop. As the owner, you need to be observant of your employees to make them feel valued. Is it somebody’s one-year anniversary? Have an office party. Did somebody just find out they are going to have a baby? Get them a gift. As with most things in life, the small things count the most.
One mistake that many companies make is leaving all employee interaction to be carried out within the same four walls every day. This can get stale, fast. So, why not shake things up occasionally and organise a day out of the office for you and your employees? Of course, this depends on how big your workplace is, so you may have to separate it down into smaller groups (or teams).
Planning a company event gives your employees something to get excited about and look forward to. It also gives everyone something to talk about. Once it’s over, it’s a shared experience that everyone can relate to. If you are struggling with ideas, here are some to get you started:
- A trip to a football game
- Escape rooms
- Cooking classes
Trust, communication, accountability. These values and principles make up the bedrock of a fun, positive and happy workplace. With this in mind, you need to lead by example and demonstrate to your employees how they should act when in the workplace. After all, if you are going to ask your employees to behave in a certain way or abide by a set of rules (or etiquette), then you must be seen to follow them too; otherwise, you will quickly start to cause tension between yourself and your personnel.