Potential employees can love the product or service you put out, but if your company has zero culture, you'll have a tough time assembling a winning team.
The phrase "company culture" sounds vague, but once you learn about it, you'll realize it's not only important to your employees--it's important to you. No one likes getting up every morning and heading off to a dull, soul-sucking job. We all want exciting jobs--we want to be passionate about our businesses, and we want our businesses to be passionate about us.
Working amid a lackluster company culture makes employees feel disconnected. Company culture is what promotes unity, morale, and shared experiences. Your company can achieve all these qualities if you invest in three simple, yet crucial, aspects of company culture: aesthetics, activities, and attitudes.
Employees spend the majority of their work days in the office, many of which are not regarded the most exciting spaces. Movies and TV shows set in offices show one common theme: functionality over Feng Shui. And sure, a working office is necessary--you do need working computers and swivel chairs. But instead of just a place to work, today's workforce wants a place to live.
An inviting, well-designed office interior can offer just that while improving employee morale and promoting productivity. According to a 2014 360 Magazine study, only 11 percent of workers are "highly engaged" at work. Those 11 percent were also "highly satisfied" with their workplaces, saying they felt they could easily focus, share ideas, relax, and feel a sense of "belonging to their company and its culture." You want your employees to be satisfied with their work culture, no matter where they are.
Because many employees work remotely, it's important to have accessible, efficient online platforms. For example, Asure Software creates technological tools for an agile workforce, enabling employees to clock in and reserve meeting rooms online. Asure also helps organizations keep track of how office space is utilized with SmartView occupancy detection software, saving your company time and money.
In addition to boosting your employees' productivity and overall satisfaction, office design can promote your brand. You want clients to walk into your office and know exactly what kind of company they're dealing with. For example, a traditional law firm might be decked out with leather and mahogany, while a non-traditional company such as Google might be decorated with bright colors and modern furniture. Let your inviting, well-designed workspace speak for your business.
Well-designed workspaces boost employee morale, which in turn boosts attitude. Attitude can affect everyone at work, from the new junior employee to the CEO. That's why it's important to pay close attention to the attitude cultivated in your workplace. Is your company more laid back, with daily games and flip-flop-wearing employees? Or is it more formal, with suits, ties, and briefcases?
Regardless of your office's attitude, make sure you hire people who fit in with the vibe. Employees who share the same attitudes often enjoy the same culture--that is, the culture of your company. In a business with undefined cultural values, there is often less collaboration between workers. Employees will work solo, avoiding teamwork and solidarity.
At the same time, you want to be the one setting the tone for your company's culture. Make sure your mission statement is easy to understand for everyone interacting with your business. If upper management does not set a consistent tone, employees won't know what objective to work toward.
According to a 2014 Gallup survey, "the best [business leaders] focus on aligning mission, culture, and brand to empower high performance among individuals and teams. By providing this strategic direction, mission-driven leaders maximize employee engagement as a key driver of organizational performance--and as a strong predictor of business success." All workforces get inspired by workplace decoration and attitude, but outside initiatives can encourage more motivation.
In a modern, millennial-occupied company, "work hard and play harder" tends to be the popular motto. Maintaining a balance between leisure and work is essential to employee morale. Providing outlets such as prizes for exceptional performance, or in-office massages, helps employees stay productive and focused. It also demonstrates to your employees that you care.
"Achievement and recognition are high motivators for employees," said Charley Polachi, managing partner at Polachi Access Executive Search, in an interview with Business News Daily. "If they take risks, reward them. Give them a coupon to go out for dinner, an extra day off, tickets to a show, etc. The small stuff adds up."
Planning a weekly or monthly company lunch sets time aside for employees to build relationships with their colleagues while also providing opportunities to chat with executives. While your company may not be able to afford free daily catered lunches, providing lunch every couple of weeks gives lets employees chat informally, which can spark spur-of-the-moment innovation.
Learning about community activities and sporting events in your area is also a good way to bring employees together and build a sense of community. For example, if your state is well-known for its state fair or rock climbing, arrange a company outing so your employees can let loose. Activities like these aren't only fun; they provide employees with opportunities to shake off the formality and occasional monotony of work.
Join the Culture Club
With all the technological advances and varying business tactics we see today, change is a good thing. When you invest in appealing aesthetics, positive attitudes, and recreational activities, your business will attract the right people for your modern business.