The results of a good workplace culture are easy to see: contented staff who are happy to come to work, who get along with one another, work hard because they want to, and go home with smiles on their faces. Here are ten practical ways to make this happen in your office.
1. Monthly check-ins
It could be just a short conversation in the lunchroom, but it is important for managers to instigate a quick check-in with each staff member at least once a month. Make sure they are happy, ask if there is anything they need or if they have any questions or problems to share. The mere fact that you asked will help them feel seen and appreciated.
2. Lunch and Learns
These events can be a great way to bring people together in a fun environment, offering seminars and workshops on interesting topics – with free food – to help people update themselves on new technologies, for example. Choose an engaging topic and speaker and the event is sure to be popular.
3. Work perks
For many of your employees, there is satisfaction in doing a job they love, but for some, the work itself might not be their childhood dreams realised – yet. What perks can you offer to entice good people to stick around long enough to move up the ranks? How about a paid day off on birthdays? Or helping parents to achieve a better work-life balance by offering paid leave for school events? Whatever you choose, it is sure to be appreciated and worthwhile.
4. Paid volunteer time
Research says the millennial generation (which is now estimated to make up half of the workforce) are concerned for the environment and strive to find meaning through their work. Whatever the cause, providing the opportunity for paid volunteer hours could help your employees to feel their work is worthwhile, as well as building good staff rapport.
5. Company sponsored events
Staying with the ‘world improvement’ theme, create an office sponsored team for a sports event, such as a fun run. Keen employees put their hands up to be on the team, which trains during work hours or lunch breaks, and the rest of the office sponsors them, with funds raised going to a charity of their choice. The company matches funds raised, doubling the charity’s payout. This encourages fitness, team building, and shows you care.
6. Lunch with the CEO
Do you know the names of your administrative staff? How about the new intern? Lunch with the CEO can be carried out in small group sessions to ensure all your employees feel appreciated and have a better idea of how the office is run. Breaking barriers between staff members helps everyone feel like they are on the same team.
7. Real time feedback
Rather than waiting for an annual review to roll around, why not provide real time feedback on performance for employees? This means that staff can continue to learn and grow throughout their role, without the guesswork. Systems such as Engagedly or 15five can provide a streamlined, easy way to do this.
8. Ring the bell!
Sales offices are great at this, with many having a literal gong or bell to ring when they make a big sale, so the team can acknowledge their triumph – and to keep energy levels up. Another, less noisy way to do this is to hold a short staff meeting or send out an email each week where big achievements or excellent work is acknowledged.
9. Friday specials
Whether it be drinks at 4 o’clock, free pastries at morning tea, or a regular shared lunch, it is important to round off the week on a positive note. Fridays are still a work day, but for many, it can feel like an extra hard slog to get out of bed that 5th day in a row. Having something special in place as a bonus for the week’s work is a great way to keep people smiling into the weekend.
10. Be flexible and trusting
Last but not least, this is the simplest but perhaps most effective way to gain a good workplace culture. If an employee puts in an application for leave, for example, don’t ask intrusive questions. Be open to flexible arrangements. Happy employees are those who don’t feel micromanaged and know they can ask when they need help. For the most part, people who feel trusted will not try to pull a fast one on you.