Since employees keep your business running, you need to create a healthy company and office culture to help them thrive. You have probably already taken some steps towards making the work environment a safe and welcoming place, but there are certainly other elements you can also incorporate to make your workforce loyal and satisfied. Take a look.
Organize team outings on a regular basis
For employees to feel like they belong, they need to make some strong bonds with their team members. Your job, as the boss, is to facilitate this by setting up an environment to nurture relationships. So, you can consider organizing monthly or quarterly events where people can mingle and get to know each other better outside of work hours.
There are many options here, from organizing a potluck party at the office to taking everyone to a local festival. However, you can also incorporate some team-building exercises into these outings so that you ensure the employees learn to trust one another and work more efficiently.
Let members from different teams collaborate
These bonding outings might help you realize that people from different teams work great together. While no one expects you to completely restructure your business, you can create cross-team projects on occasion. This way, people that usually wouldn’t work together might come up with a new idea or steer you in a unique direction.
Don’t let people eat lunch at their desk
To create a culture where everyone is included, you can also introduce the no-lunch-at-the-desk policy. If you have a cafeteria, this will allow people to be more social and create a bond by talking about non-work-related topics. What is more, colleagues that eat together might even share ideas on how to deal with a project during a meal. On the other hand, if there is no space designated to lunch, they will be encouraged to eat “al fresco” and experience the health benefits of taking a walk outside and eating in a park.
Create a comfortable and productive space
While encouraging them to have lunch outside can be good for their health, you also need to make sure they feel comfortable and productive at their workstation. Look for ergonomic furniture to prevent back, neck, and leg pain. Also, some employees may prefer height-adjustable desks.
Then, consider adding desk chair mats. The mats can make moving around the workstations a lot smoother and will protect your floors as well. Provide the space with as much natural light as possible to reduce eye strain and headaches and introduce greenery to boost the mood of the employees. Lastly, don’t forget to make the premises accessible for all those employees with mobility issues.
Allow flexible working schedules
A big part of creating a positive company culture is showing your employees you value them. In addition to providing various rewards in the form of a bonus check, a spa coupon, or a simple thank-you note, you should also consider allowing them a degree of flexibility with their schedule. Keep in mind some team members work better during the night or in the evening so they might choose not to work the typical nine-to-five hours.
If possible, let them craft their own work hours. Then, they might need to work from home in case their child is not feeling well or have to leave early for a doctor’s appointment. Do your best to meet their needs, and they will develop a sense of loyalty because you care about their well-being.
Encourage employees to learn and improve
Another way to show you care is by investing in your employees’ further development. Do your best to organize seminars and classes where your workforce can learn new skills and gain new knowledge. Invite speakers or mentors in the field that can share their experience with the team. Help them realize working on improving themselves can lead to a promotion. On the other hand, even if you can’t pay for these courses, encourage them to develop new skills on their own.
Work on making communication clear
For everyone to know what is expected of them, you need to ensure communication in your company is top-notch. Having a chain of command so that everyone knows who to turn to if they run into trouble can resolve issues much quicker. Then, establish the channels of communication. While you can hold meetings everyone needs to attend once a week, this is not the most efficient way of communicating. Instead, opt for one-on-one meetings for things that are best discussed in detail and turn to instant messaging and email for simpler things that need clarification or approval.
Stop micromanaging the employees
Speaking of clarification and approval, you need to trust your employees are trained properly and know when they need to seek advice from a higher-up. That means that you can stop micromanaging every single task they do and give them a sense of autonomy. Constantly hovering over their shoulders can only lead to mistakes and losing precious time.
Listen to your employees’ suggestions
Just like autonomy shows your employees you trust them, so does listening to their opinions. For example, ask for feedback on various topics, from interpersonal relationships to the equipment they are using. You can set up quarterly interviews to check in with every single employee individually but you should also encourage them to speak up whenever there is an issue at the office and allow them to make anonymous suggestions. Also, ask them to weigh in on a project they are not working on to show you value their input.
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The article 9 Clever Ways to Improve Your Office Culture first appeared in Innovation & Tech Today.