Positive company culture is the elusive golden egg. Work environments where employees feel energized to contribute each day are more productive, innovative and pleasurable. Company culture is dependent on a plethora of factors, many of which are outside your control. Fortunately, businesses are in a position to ensure the best outcome.
Websites like Glassdoor create transparency for companies who fail to do it themselves. These sites list salary ranges, feedback for management and overall scores for your workplace environment. If your company is listed on one of these sites and has negative feedback, don’t recoil — respond. While ill will may cloud reviews, there could be nuggets of truth that point to cracks in your company’s ethos.
Be proactive and establish honest communication as a pillar of your company. Places that publicly list their salaries cut out wasted psychological stress for employees. They can now apply that brain power to their work.
Transparency also creates an environment where employees feel safe to express concerns. Perhaps a middle manager is creating a hostile environment for a whole team, but the team is unsure whom to turn to for help, so the problem festers until it becomes a bigger and more expensive issue. Had that team known who could solve their concerns, you could have nipped the situation in the bud and saved money and productivity.
Each year, more jobs become less tactile. We’re more reliant on technology and computing than ever. While this creates more space and time for innovation, it also distorts how we view our impact on our work environments. Take time to explain to each employee how their role is essential in keeping the business running. When someone feels their work is useful, they feel purpose and their quality of work increases.
A free way to boost morale is to ensure you express gratitude for your staff’s hard work. As a leader, you straddle a thin line. If you overpraise employees, you risk coming off as insincere, and if you never acknowledge your team’s work, they’ll feel their presence is only a means to an end.
Trust falls and awkward ice-breaking games are relics of the past. Engage your employees in stimulating teambuilding activities like an escape room experience. Nothing breeds camaraderie like trying to get out of a room packed with co-workers — plus, it’s exhilarating and rewarding to solve the puzzles and find the exit.
Happy hours are another excellent, though standard, option. The issue that arises is how to accommodate employees who don’t drink. One solution is to provide an in-office happy hour that also has a snacking component. Consider flavorful drink options like kombucha or coconut water for employees who do not imbibe.
Schedule teambuilding events into the workday. If you plan them after hours, they must be optional, and many will not choose their co-workers over additional time with their family. Planning compulsory teambuilding events outside regular work hours is a quick way to generate resentment.
The goal is to create a space where employees feel happy to spend eight hours or more each day. As the leader of your company, you likely have the most passion — or you should! — because it’s your project, your vision, your baby.
Your employees sacrifice their time and energy to bring your vision to life. Create a space where they feel comfortable and appreciated. Your company is a community, and you’re responsible for its health. Disgruntled employees can lead to the breakdown of your business. Proactive care like regularly expressing gratitude and planning monthly team bonding events is the company equivalent to eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away.