Running a business is undoubtedly stressful, so most owners try to keep all of their responsibilities to an absolute minimum; for this reason, creating office culture is often thrown by the wayside, labeled unimportant, and ceases to exist. Between managing the finances and trying to keep up with the latest social networks, creating a fun and comfortable work environment for employees is often found on the bottom of the priority list. However, office culture can play a huge role in the success or failure of a company because it links to employee motivation.
If an employee has zero emotional connection to the job and dreads coming in each morning, they are likely to be less productive than those who are excited about what they do. In other words, getting the most out of your employees means giving them more than just a paycheck. Office culture is something that can be created, and it’s easy to do if you really put your mind to it. If nothing else, having a positive and lively office environment will be more enjoyable for everyone—CEOs included.
Consider some of the ways you can create an office culture that will give your employees the urge to run to work (okay maybe not run, but they’ll want to be one time):
Top 5 Ways to Improve Office Culture in 2012
1. Hold Frequent Company Meetings
It is the job of the CEO to be the ring leader when it comes to office culture. Holding frequent company meetings is a great way to get everyone together and get everyone talking about the company. If you have good news to share about the company, share it at the company meeting. Employees love to know what the CEOs know and be in the loop. You may also consider having all of your executives give a brief overview of their department’s progress. Employees will feel good about the rest of the staff knowing what they’re up to, and it will create a feeling of teamwork.
2. Keep Employees Engaged
Keeping employees engaged will certainly help improve productivity—that is a no brainer. However, actually putting this thought into motion can sometimes be difficult. If you run a paper company (The Office fans anyone?), it can sometimes be hard to get people excited about the subject matter. You may try creating some sort of office contest or give employees a bonus to work toward. If you can set goals for employees, engagement should increase right away.
3. Plan Company Events
It can sometimes be hard for co-workers to get to know each other in an office setting, so make sure you hold company events. These events do not need to be expensive, just a place for everyone to get together and get to know each other. Make sure to the events outside of the office, though, so people feel more relaxed. It may also be a good idea to hold an office fantasy football league or set up games in a break room. This will allow employees to mingle and start to make friends.
4. Make Sure to Thank Your Employees for Their Hard Work
Employees will absolutely respond well to praise. If you continually work hard and no one notices, many will start to slack. After all, what’s the point? You have to remember that most of your employees are there for the paycheck, and if they’re getting it regardless of the type of work they do, it will be more appealing to work less. Make sure that you let people know you appreciate their hard work so that they will keep it up. This will also give them a sense of accomplishment.
5. Support and Create Rules in the Workplace
Most think of office culture as needing to be more interesting for the employees, but the opposite is also true. Some companies are too lax and need to tone down the amount of freedom they give their employees. If a company has no rules and therefore feels out of control, the office culture will not be positive. Instead, this will likely cause employees to not care about the company because it seems out of control. Make sure you have a strict (but reasonable), set of guidelines, and stick to them.
In the end, empowering employees has so much to do with environment. Take your time completing background checks and hiring good, quality people, and make an effort to roam the office and see how everyone is doing. The more they know about a company and its employees, the more motivated they can become to do well for that company and for that team. Once you find that you have a great office culture, your company will be more well-rounded, positive, and hopefully more successful.