The biggest problem with creating a perfect office lies in the fact that some of the most important factors are non-quantifiable. The best example of this is a positive company culture, which is known to create a positive atmosphere within the office. This makes people work harder, develop greater corporate loyalty and stay in your employment even upon receiving a superior offer. Now, while the very term positive may sound like something with an abstract connotation, the truth is that you can actually make some effort in order to make this idea come to life. With that in mind, here are several tips on how you can make a positive company culture for positive employees.
#1 Try to listen actively
Just because you're their leader, your employees will not feel free to tell you absolutely everything that bothers them around the office. This is why you can get a lot of bonus points for noticing these things on your own. For this to work, you need to set aside some time for one-on-one conversations and pick up the subtle art of active listening. Invest some effort into figuring out what your employees want to talk about. Sure, due to the fact that you come from the position of authority, it will be much easier for you to lead the conversation. Nonetheless, due to the fact that this is all about the feedback, you need to resist the urge and focus on what your employees want to talk about.
#2 Watch your manners
Your employees look at you as a living embodiment of the company. Your behavior might, therefore, strongly reflect on both company values and company culture. Always be the first one to come to work and the last one to leave, try to be calm and positive no matter the situation and always think before you act. It only takes one unjust outburst in order for your employees to start fearing you and, where there’s fear, there are secrets, talent abandonment and a drop in productivity. Most important of all, never give promises that you can’t or don’t intend to keep. The trust of your employees is the most valuable asset that you own.
#3 Blow off some steam
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This is why you need to make sure that your team knows how to blow off some steam and the easiest way to achieve this is with a company party. The anniversary of the company and the holiday season are the best parts of the years for such a project. Other than just throwing a party, you also need to find a way to capture the festive spirit for these holidays. So, for instance, at the end of the Christmas party, you might want to distribute some gifts for your employees. Even small tokens of appreciation such as branded notebooks can make someone’s day. This helps you show them that you care about them on a personal level, as well as that they’re more than just an asset in your eyes.
#4 Don’t cast blame
Once a mistake is made, you need to study it in order not to repeat it; however, you need to avoid making accusations and casting blame. Instead, you need to instruct your employees and help them realize what they did wrong. Moreover, singling out a person and shaming them instead of their peers will destroy everyone’s morale. The friends of the person will feel bad about them, while their rivals will gloat (thus making the animosity even greater). One thing that they’ll all have in common is the ability to imagine themselves in a similar situation. It won’t be long until they start looking for an exit strategy and gainful employment elsewhere.
#5 Teambuilding for more than just productivity
Teambuilding is an activity that’s primarily envisioned as the means of boosting productivity. Nonetheless, positive company culture and talent retention are just as important reasons for you to invest more heavily in teambuilding. Strong personal ties between colleagues are what ties people to the brand. At the end of the day, an average employee can never become as attached to your logo or slogan as they can to the person sitting next to them. During an important project, the fear of letting down their co-workers and friends is a much more reliable motivator than the fear of letting their company down.
The best thing about developing a positive company culture is the fact that it in no way derails you from the path that you’re already on. It merely acts as a slight, passive boost that benefits both you and everyone in your employ.
About the Author
Keith Coppersmith is an Adelaide based business consultant with a degree in Media Management. With experience in numerous small businesses and startups, he enjoys giving advice on all things marketing. You can check out more of his writing on the Bizzmark Blog.