Our last blog post explored the reasons why having a vibrant business culture is essential for your brand. The positive effects of a healthy culture are many, while the result of letting the culture of your company decline can be very detrimental indeed. In our previous post, we touched on the way to measure the cultural health of your organization, but how do you strengthen that culture if necessary?
The first step is to ask yourself a couple of questions to get a sense of the “feel” you would like your organization to have:
- What attributes do you value that you want to show up in your company’s culture? Respect, acceptance, creativity, fun, etc.?
- What are your company’s values and how can the culture mirror them?
- How is information currently distributed in the company and how does this affect the culture?
- How are employees presently recognized?
- Does everyone feel listened to in the company? Do people feel free to express their ideas and offer their opinions?
These should lead you to more questions. Consider having a brainstorming session with your employees to find the right solutions for your company. Here are a few ideas we came up with:
Suggestion/Thought box – Permitting people to anonymously share their thoughts or opinions concerning the day to day in the office can result in a more open feeling in the company. These concerns can be brought up in company meetings if they pertain to everyone.
Empower employees – Give people control over their jobs by treating them like peers rather than peons. You can accomplish this by being more transparent; don’t just communicate when you have successes, inform them when things aren’t going perfectly. It will produce a team full of mutual support.
Flexible hours – You hired your employees because you trust them to do their job. Allowing them to have somewhat flexible hours shows you trust them to get their work done well and on time. The respect you give them will be reflected in the respect they give you.
Dress code – Gone are the days of the suit and tie everyday (at least in many fields), so let personnel express themselves with their clothing. This will help make them feel free and accepted. Another idea is to have themed clothing days. Examples of this are: wig day, silly t-shirt day, hat day, etc. Let employees make suggestions for themes. A little silly goes a long way.
Celebrate – A business is composed of the people in it, so celebrate together. A monthly movie day, a catered lunch, or lunchtime board game days are only a few ways you can get your staff together to celebrate.
Below is a list of things that real companies do to add some fun to their culture:
- Spontaneous Nerf gun wars
- Painting inspirational quotes on the walls
- Hitting a loud gong when there is a success to let the whole company know
- Foosball tournaments
- Lunchtime Yoga
- Lunchtime Crafting Club
- Monday Mad Libs, whoever wishes to contribute, does, and then the completed Mad Lib is emailed to the company