Promoting a Positive Office Culture
We’re two weeks into the New Year. Hopefully it’s brought change, and the hope for an even better future for your business. Even if you’re slow taking up your New Years resolutions, there’s no better time than now to start improving your organization’s culture.
It would be nice to have this feeling all year long. Whether it’s January or July, there are some simple things that you can do to change the culture in your workspace:
Tear Down That Wall!
Employee interaction is one of the best ways for people to connect and forge relationships. But when your whole team is stuck droning away in cubicles, this can be hard to do. Fight the urge to keep everyone in their own bubbles by restricting allocations of separate offices, and tearing down cubicle spaces.
Open space is much more conducive to promoting a common culture, because it eliminates the physical barriers that prevent people from offering input and feeling like they’re a part of a team. When your employees have the opportunity to play off of each other’s ideas, you can expect better problem solving and more creativity.
Social Recognition is Key
As an organizational leader, it’s a good idea to offer regular recognition of employees who go above and beyond, and those who keep at the grind day-in and day-out. Employees who feel that their contributions are valued and appreciated are prouder of their achievements, less likely to leave your organization, and more likely to identify quality referrals for your talent acquisition program.
Stop Working For a Bit
Sure, the office is a place to work. But it doesn’t hurt to step away every now and then for some good old-fashioned fun. You activities can be as simple as going to lunch together, or playing some video games. Be sure to offer a variety of activities that actually appeal to your team, so that employees who would prefer not to play sports, or not to be out late, can still participate (and those who would like to do those things can still have opportunities to enjoy themselves).
Group activities build rapport and confidence between employees, let them get to know each other better, and can make it easier for out-of-town recruits to adjust to living in a new place. Don’t be afraid to enjoy yourself!
Brainstorming Power Sessions
In small groups of rotating participants, schedule occasional brainstorming sessions to develop new ways to improve your product, your services, and your business operations. Remember that when you’re brainstorming, there’s no such thing as bad ideas: everything is fair game, from marketing and advertising, to customer relationships, to purple monkeys.
In the software development world, “Hackathons” are planned sessions of non-stop, intense productivity, which culminates in some sort of new product. But you don’t need to be a computer scientist to run a hackathon; grab some snacks, choose some prizes, and take a day to crank out an organized initiative together with your team. People do their best thinking when they don’t feel confined, when they get a change of scenery, and when they’re having a bit of fun.
A positive office cultures culminates with employees who are happy with their jobs, and are intrinsically motivated to produce better work. Open floor plans, employee recognition, social events and hard teamwork can go a long way in improving employee wellbeing, decreasing employee turnover, and increasing your bottom line. This year, commit to building a culture that’s an invaluable resource for your organization.