Why is company culture so important? I found a great answer to that question in an article by Derek Irvine, called 3 Lessons From Ford on Why Company Culture Really Does Matter.
So, for the more skeptical, company culture = profit, right?
Well, we think it’s more than that. We think it gives your business the competitive upper hand of a sustainable growth, with a very strong foundation to build on. After that, sky’s the limit.
HR Consultant Patricia Hunt Sinacole defines company culture as “the way a company gets stuff done.” Basically everything that we’ve talked about so far: your declared and adopted values, your way of working and the way you communicate.
We focused on 4 directions that can help you build a healthy and engaging company culture.
Step 1: Get together
Even though you see each other every day, you’d be surprised what a good game of bowling or a karaoke night can do to your team synergy. It’s important that you build quality relationships with the people you work with. Connecting outside of work can bring up a new side of people, one that can reflect better on their personality and their views on life. Set up a weekly activity like a Board Games Night or a Movie Night. We talked about making your own set of rules, this is an important rule that you need to set.
This wouldn’t be an authentic piece of information on company culture if we didn’t mention Zappos. Try the Zappos approach to work, making the people you work with feel really, really good.
Step 2: Get involved
Earlier in this series, we talked about building a community as a first focus of your efforts to raise happiness at work and increase employee engagement. We gave you a basic idea of where you can start and how the foundation should look like, but this is a long-term commitment that you’re making, and it will take time and effort.
People connect in different situations. We talked about the informal opportunities to bond and to form relationships but the most important time and place for your team to connect remains the office. Connections create attachment which ultimately means employee loyalty, employee retention and a much smaller turnover rate.
So how can you help them to connect better?
• Create a collaborative working environment, fostering learning and interaction
• Work in dynamic teams. Rotating people in different teams according to their project or assignment is a great way to spice things up, test their abilities, have them learn something new and interact with different team members.
• Create learning opportunities. If you have senior team members with a notable experience, have them mentor or advise the newbies. You can have a weekly 2h timeframe where people can feel free to ask questions, test ideas or get feedback on their work from people with more experience.
• Encourage people to develop new projects or improve current ideas.
• Share updates on different projects and allow ideas to be passed around from one project to another
• Keep your team in the loop and make them a part of your strategic planning process. They may have valuable inputs and it’s a great way to get them to be even more involved.
Step 3: Have fun
Remember when we were talking about Finding your language? We’re up to the PLAY element that gives people fulfillment in life, along with Love and Work. If you want your employees to give their best and feel good about their work, you want them to be excited. Generating positive emotions powers up their productivity, their creativity and most importantly, it makes them happy to be there. Don’t give in to monotony!
Have fun breaks, daily challenges, play games, get an office mascot or even an office pet. Here are 5 fresh trends to fuse work and fun.
Step 4: Team culture
All that relationship fostering should pay off when you see people trusting each other, synchronizing their strengths and abilities and achieving great results. Every team success should be celebrated, no matter how small. Challenges should be overcome together and whenever there is a problem it would be great to have everyone pitch in with a possible solution and a helpful attitude.
Have a rewards and recognition system to encourage people to work in teams! You can find some very useful tips on how to encourage team collaboration and cooperation here.
Performance comes from a good mix of challenging work, fun times and people you enjoy working with. Take a look at this Case Study we recently published, on Employee Engagement and Company Culture.
The more you invest in building an effective team, fostering relationships and encouraging involvement and fun, the higher your happiness levels will rise.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our friendly advice and that you’ve managed to craft a happiness strategy for the year to come.