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Creating a positive company culture

Monday, 20 May 2019

We live in a world where business buzz words include ‘company culture’ and ‘employer branding’ but what do these things actually mean, do they matter to every organisation and how do we create positive ones?

We talked about employer branding earlier this month and concluded that your employer branding should encase a set of attributes and qualities that make your organisation distinctive and make it attractive to the sort of people who will thrive and perform well within the company culture this creates.

Companies with impressive employee retention rates and high employee satisfaction levels all have one thing in common – they understand the importance of a strong workplace culture. Regardless of the size of the organisation, these companies know that you must truly invest in your staff if you want to get the best out of them. A poor workplace environment could actually end up costing a company more money as it could result in employee stress, absenteeism and a higher turnover of staff.

So, easy to talk about but how do you actually create and maintain a good company culture where your staff are happy to come to work every day?

Whether your company has just ten employees or ten thousand, we can all take some steps to engage better with our staff and make the office an attractive place to be.

Is your office a cool place to work? Companies like Google are well known for creating the coolest office facilities to stimulate their employees. It may seem crazy at first, but this move actually builds on research, as about 75% of employees say their companies don’t have nice facilities for relaxation and recreation, which leads to unhappy workers and lower levels of productivity.

As this blog post from Glassdoor states, looks are never everything, but when it comes to the office that you spend so much of your time in (and expect your employees to do the same), a work environment that is easy on the eye, inspiring and fun to be in can make a huge difference to how you and your team perform every day. While you don’t necessarily have to copy any of these grand designs, you can improve your office surroundings by paying attention to two things, the light and the function. Research shows that 40% of people consider lighting to be the most important factor affecting their productivity at work. What people really want is to see the outside but if that really is impossible from every work station, then functional lighting is a great way to increase your team’s productivity levels. And make sure that there are areas in your office where workers can enjoy some down time in peace.

Be aware of your employees needs. Aside from salary and pension schemes, employees have become increasingly interested in ‘lifestyle benefits’ that respond to their personal circumstances and aid a healthier work/life balance. These can include things such as flexitime working, work from home options and study days.

Rewards. Bonus and discount schemes are great to help engage employees – rewarding hard work and dedication can pay dividends to productivity. Make sure that employees are recognised when they have provided you with their best – from a simple ‘thank you and well done’ email to reward schemes.

Do you give your staff a chance to learn and progress? Do you promote employee learning and development? It’s important for an employee to know that their employer is invested in their personal and professional development and take the necessary steps to do so by providing training options and mentoring.

Welcoming new ideas When you allow or encourage employees to brainstorm new ideas for the company, employees will realise they their thoughts and ideas are equally as important to them as well as the company. This allows your employees to grow and encourages creativity.

Are you a sociable company? A good choice of social events alongside business activity is good for morale. A healthy calendar of social events outside of the office can help promote inter-team bonding as well as creating a happier atmosphere.

Do you lead by example? Clear, committed and inspired leadership will be an essential component in maintaining a great company culture. Make sure the leaders in your organisation understand the culture and are able to effectively communicate and uphold it.

Do you promote an open door approach? It is important to create a culture where employees at all levels feel able to give honest feedback so encourage openness and transparency with the employees of your company.

A little bit more? As well as the usual business benefits, employees often respond well to some little added extras such as free breakfast or healthy snack boxes, an early finish on a Friday or engaging with a reward scheme like AvinityAlive.

Image courtesy of Gamesys.