6 Ways To Improve Office Culture
Creating a culture in an office environment is essential to any business but it does not limit itself only to the borders of the physical workplace. Company culture is what connects your employees to the values of the organisation and the main thing that keeps them motivated on a daily basis.
When people feel safe, understood and heard, they are more likely to engage in new activities, become proactive and get involved in company matters that are not even directly related to their position.
So if you’re an office manager, an HR representative or a CEO looking to improve the way your company’s beliefs are communicated to your employees, take a look at our article on improving office culture.
Embrace and Promote Diversity and Inclusion
People from diverse backgrounds and environments can only be an asset to your business. Even putting that aside, it’s important to let your current and future employees know that they are judged only by their goodwill, motivation, and strive to perform well. Here is how you can do this:
- Make sure that you provide comfortable access to people with disabilities so they don’t feel excluded from everyone else.
- Celebrate all holidays or none. Christmas parties are great but not everyone celebrates them. You need to be inclusive of all religions and beliefs as long as they are good-natured. To do this properly, just consult with the right people.
- Provide people with hearing and visual impairments with the right technology so they can have no problems doing their job on a daily basis.
- Connect with inclusion experts and regularly ask for feedback from your employees on how you can improve their experience in the workplace, no matter if they work from the office or home.
Give Regular Feedback
Being the silent boss or team leader can be extremely discouraging for many employees, especially if they are new. According to research from Zenefits, 63,3% of companies find it harder to retain their employees in comparison to hiring. This is oftentimes due to the fact that they don’t receive regular feedback, they feel unappreciated or they are not sure about the quality of their work and how it aligns with the company.
What you can do to avoid this is to perform regular evaluations – at least once per quarter. Ensure your employees are working in the right direction, give them feedback on the performance levels, and advise them on how they can improve as a professional. Even a friendly message after an impressive result or continuous improvement and efforts can do wonders.
However, this works in both directions. Ask for feedback on how you can improve as a team leader, CEO, or whatever your position is. Make sure everyone in the company knows they can share feedback and suggestions about the way the company is run and the performance of higher staff. If employees are afraid to let their boss know he’s doing something wrong, they might feel more inclined to just leave instead of trying to deal with the problem.
This mutual feedback can be given in person or online – whichever works better for your specific case. Generally, it’s always a good idea to have a platform where people can give suggestions anonymously – a box in the common room or an online form they can fill in.
Create Incentive Programs
Employee incentive programs are a great way to motivate employees and keep them engaged. There are many ways and options that mostly depend on your specific situation and business. To make things easier, we will now list some of the most popular and easily implemented incentive programs you can try for your business today:
- Referral programs with rewards for recommending people. The reward depends on you – it can be money, days off, a subscription for an interesting platform, vouchers, etc. In order for people not to take advantage of this program, you can give the condition that they will receive the reward only after the recommended person finishes their training period or stays for more than 3 months.
- End of the year surprise boxes. As we already mentioned, not everyone celebrates Christmas, so Christmas presents might not be the best choice. However, welcoming the New Year is a universal experience that you can take advantage of. Create a box with presents for your employees that includes surprises you know people will enjoy. A good bottle of wine, honey jar, a bookstore coupon, or whatever you think will work best. Nothing brings people more joy than a box full of presents and a thank you card for all the hard work they’ve done in the past year.
- Company team-building events. Picnics, charity events, movie nights – the possibilities are endless! Set some money aside and organise a memorable experience for your employees that will make them appreciate the fact that they are a part of your company. If you’re not sure what to do exactly, you can always ask your colleagues for ideas and have them vote for the option they like best. Events that involve a cause are usually the best choice because you get to do something good for someone else and you also spend time outside of the office. Some suggestions are organised clean-ups, planting trees, a charity bazaar, and walking dogs from shelters.
Try Out a Flexible Working Model
In all honesty, we believe that it shouldn’t have taken a global pandemic for people to realise that fully remote and hybrid working models are the way to go. Since people have been forced to work from home, many companies realised that most of the myths surrounding remote working are exactly that – myths. And now, offering remote positions has become the norm.
This is extremely important for many reasons. In terms of recruitment, professionals are no longer bound by their geographical limitations and are free to search for the right talent everywhere in the world. And people who live in remote areas with less financial support finally have the opportunity to gain experience in a good company that is only physically away from them.
Another added bonus is that current employees will not have to worry about losing their jobs if they have to stay home looking after their kids, relatives or if they have difficulties travelling. Having a sense of security because of flexibility is something that everyone will appreciate. This also includes giving your employees the opportunity to go home a bit early, in case they have something to do, and work those hours by the end of the month, for example.
Be Honest and Transparent
This should be a given but we will mention it anyway. Nobody likes working for a company that is dishonest and is not open about its ambitions or work policies. When you implement a new project make sure you clearly explain what are the reasons behind it, the expected end-goals and how you plan on following those KPIs.
As Fantastic Services Group says: “When you’re a leader, it’s a must to have a long-term vision for where you want to take the company and how you want to grow the business. While it is oftentimes vague and nothing more than an idea to strive for, especially in the beginning, they’re an essential part of keeping your team motivated and inspired.”
This also means there is no special treatment for some people. For example, if you use a team management tool to report time and tasks completed, everyone has to use it. No exceptions.
Anything you as a company needs to be a combined effort. The more you include people in different projects and let them express ideas and concerns, the more success you will have and the more you will be appreciated.
This leads us to our last point.
Reward Efforts and Valuable Contributions
One of the most discouraging factors for an employee is not being rewarded for their extra efforts and valuable contributions. Make sure you set up a program that does that and the rewards are something truly useful, not just a template “thank you” sticker.
As long as your employees feel like they are an important part of the company and their work is appreciated and seen, they will have no reason to leave. The extent and nature of those rewards depend on your business, the number of employees and your financial capabilities. But as we mentioned in the points before, this can be easily figured out with some brainstorming and feedback from your employees.
Recent events taught us that the right approach for any successful company is thinking about its employees and making sure they are satisfied with their working environment. After all, similar to customers, retention is more important than acquisition. Having people working for your business for 10 years is a lot better than hiring new staff every year. This means money spent recruiting and training employees, as well as a bad reputation as an employer.
So to avoid all of that, follow our advice and make sure you listen to the people you work with!