A positive and encouraging corporate culture is more important than ever and it’s proving to be a ‘must-have’ rather than a fleeting intention. Multiple studies and culture experts confirm that in order to attract, retain and engage the modern workforce, a clear culture must be developed and maintained.
We must advise that the very best foundation for a positive corporate culture is having the right people on board and hiring responsibly. The hiring process is tough, no doubt about it, but the patience, proper screening and careful consideration it takes to select the most fitting team member is always worth the lengthy effort. A synergistic team makes a world of difference for the type of culture you’ll create.
Set your team. Get set. GO…
We challenge you to try at least one of the tips below and then report back to us the positive results you’ve experienced. Whether you’re a business owner or a team leader, these ideas will help.
1. Create a Dream Map
Share where you’re going and what you hope to achieve, not just for the company itself but everyone in it. This gives hope for the future and power in the present. Have the ‘Dream Map’ professionally designed and post it around the office, bring it to life in fun ways.
2. Set Aside Bonding Time
We’re not talking about dipping into personal time, here. In fact, it’s important to avoid that. We are suggesting that one or two workdays a year should be devoted to a company-wide activity that’s fun and encouraging for your team. Why not treat everyone to a matinee movie at the Theater? Why not do brunch? Why not take a cooking class together? Better yet, give your team a few options and let the group decide what to do.
3. Be A Little Vulnerable
Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone. Admitting to mistakes and taking responsibility is a powerful way to develop a foundation of learning, trust and camaraderie. A level of vulnerability in all actions leads to healthy communication. Additionally, asking for team help to problem-solve should be encouraged and applauded. Start these communication practices today.
4. Focus on Innovation
Innovation is usually not a natural-occurring phenomenon, a successful innovation process involves setting clear objectives and fostering creativity. Encourage your team to take risks, rewarding them for creative ideas and not penalizing them when they fail. In doing so, you’ll enable your team to feel excited (and safe) to push beyond their normal thinking process. Consider setting aside one afternoon a quarter to roundtable new ideas. Set up a reward system (gift cards work well here) for the most innovative and actionable ideas.
5. Create a Cool Space
A vibrant, energetic or relaxing office space can offer a host of benefits, from helping calm stress to stimulating creative thinking and attracting talent. Industry leaders like Google, Box, Groupon and HUMAN Healthy Vending are leading this home-like office shift, with more companies jumping on board by the day. The good news is that you don’t need to do a lot to make a big difference. A comfortable lounge, game area, quiet room, and healthy snacks go a long way.
6. Encourage Exercise and Standing
According to a recent study, employees who spent 2.5 hours a week being active reported increased work ability and took less sick time than employees who did not engage in physical activity. Evidence is also mounting to show that spending too much time sitting increases risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers and early death. This is pretty serious stuff. Standing desks are an easy way to inspire healthy habits and combat all of the risks associated with sitting. Check out the UPLIFT desk, featured in the Los Angeles Times.
Bottom line, get people moving. Encourage team members to be mobile and spend 5 mins every hour going for a brief walk.
7. Call A Mandatory Meeting—to Relax
Every single job—ever—comes with its own set of stresses. Whether that’s influenced by external or internal challenges, it’s important to appreciate and support every role. If your team is under a significant amount of pressure or you’re dealing with a serious issue, call a meeting. AND JUST ASK EVERYONE TO BREATHE. Come together. A team that works together will solve together and stay together. Take your minds off the stress or the issue and go back fresh, clear-headed and ready for a positive change.
8. Celebrate Small Victories
Don’t wait until something BIG happens to celebrate. Reward small victories every month, if not every week. A small victory could mean a tiny sale or great communication or just a solid week of good work. There’s no need to throw a huge party, just a nice email will do.
9. Support Individual Causes / Events
Applying some basic Family principles in the workplace can be very beneficial to improving employee loyalty and retention. One fun way to do this is to get involved in your team member’s individual philanthropy or Family causes. A small donation, whether monetary or in-kind, is a great way to boost morale and infuse care into your culture.
Buy those girl scout cookies.
10. Help Your Team Grow
Recognize informal learning as a valuable education source. Webinars. Conferences. Seminars. Books… are all excellent sources of knowledge. Make these resources accessible for your team, whether that’s through monetary support or time-off to pursue continuing education.
Any one of the tips above will get you moving in the right direction.
(TEN) IDEAS THAT BUILD BUSINESS. And many more where that came from, so keep following along!