Employees who work in a business that has a positive company culture are likely to be much more creative, productive and loyal, so it stands to reason that fostering positivity in your business is going to be beneficial all round.
Getting it wrong can mean your business gets a bad reputation; and in a world where we are being rated on job recruitment websites, and consumer review websites it’s better to be among the high achievers.
Let’s explore the key elements that play a vital role in nurturing a positive and welcoming company culture!
Start with your core values and beliefs
This comes from inside and you will feel intuitively what your own core values for your business should be. Writing these values down and defining how you achieve them is a good exercise.
For example you may run a call centre who need to give amazing customer service. If they feel happy, trusted and appreciated your team will provide top value to your customers, so choose core values that will resonate with them, like integrity, clarity and collaboration. If you run a construction company you may feel that empathy is important to you. In an industry that isn’t famous for honesty, you could make a big impact by establishing a company policy to pass on savings to your customers. So when a project costs less than originally quoted you can greatly enhance your reputation for fairness. You will soon find that your staff is motivated to identify ways to generate savings and actively contribute to your company’s overall reputation.
Other core values to consider could be things like authenticity, communication, creativity, determination, flexibility, honesty, optimism, reliability, teamwork, tenacity.
You know your business inside out and will instinctively sense which core values motivate your people, so pick the ones that feel right and make them a part of your working days.
Communicate your core values
If you have regular meetings, keep these values at the fore by projecting them on a screen throughout the session or incorporating them into the meeting minutes. Another impactful idea is to have note pads printed for employees, featuring your core values on them, encouraging constant reinforcement.
When producing a company handbook, a great approach is to include your core values either as an introduction or place them on the cover. This sets the tone and emphasizes their significance right from the start.
However, the most powerful way to communicate and instil these values is through open discussions. Make them a natural part of your everyday language, and soon they will become the guiding mantra for everyone in the organization.
Recognise good work
Whatever core values you decide upon reward the employees who use them. In fact reward employees whenever they do good work. The road to success is solving problems and moving forward in a positive way. Don’t be tempted to fall into a blame culture, this will catch fire and spread quickly. Emphasise that mistakes will always happen, but they can’t be undone and the right thing to do is look for a way to learn from them and work towards success.
If you have a sales team, then rewarding them is easy and you probably have a scheme in place already, but think about rewarding all your staff. Having a regular Christmas celebration is lovely, so have a summer one too. Maybe a family barbecue or a day trip to a local landmark, or a shopping day with vouchers. Some companies give an extra day off for birthday’s which is such a small concession, but is much appreciated.
If your employee achieves a personal milestone, such as passing a career-enhancing exam, it becomes a cause for celebration, and publicly acknowledging it will help foster positive feelings.
Encourage social activities
This can be a wonderful opportunity to foster strong team bonds. Friendships often naturally develop in the workplace, and providing chances to socialize without work-related pressures can significantly enhance team spirit. To make these gatherings more organized and enjoyable, consider appointing a social event manager who can arrange nice events, perhaps on a monthly basis. Options for activities can range from active outings like a trip to the local bowling alley or laser tag, to more relaxed experiences like dining at a nearby restaurant or attending a theatre performance. Remember, these events don’t necessarily have to be financed by the company; a token payment, like covering the drinks could be a nice gesture to show support and appreciation for employees.
Alternatively if your company supports a charity you could do some fundraising. Most big charities nominate a special day or week of the year to concentrate on fundraising and organise special events, so make the most of these or organise your own. If you have employees that will make cakes have a cake sale. If nobody likes baking then a jumble sale could work or have a mufti day (pay to come in jeans etc.).
We are moving into an age where remote working has become much more commonplace. The pandemic helped us to realise that with a good internet connection, working at home is a perfectly viable option and it has been shown than hybrid working can contribute to employee mental well-being as well as promoting an increase in productivity. The benefits here are obvious, so if you are not already embracing this system, consider how it could work for you and canvas your workforce to see if they would welcome a flexible system.
Similarly, you may find that you have staff who would welcome working part time. People with families, might want school friendly shifts, or just slightly reduced hours to accommodate another commitment. There are many reasons why people might want reduced hours or maybe they need extra hours and you can balance the workload between those who are willing to do more and those who prefer to be part time.
Consider being more flexible when you are recruiting. A role that offers a choice of full time / part time and hybrid working options will attract more interest.
The more you can work to create a good work life balance for employees the more they will give back. Being appreciated and listened to is fundamental to good mental health and creating a positive environment will pay you back in loyalty and employee retention.
Embracing the richness of diversity in people’s backgrounds and cultures can truly elevate your business to new heights! By supporting and valuing individuals from all walks of life, you create a warm atmosphere of tolerance and collaboration. Being open-minded, flexible, and free from biases allows everyone to contribute their unique perspectives, making your journey together even more enjoyable and successful!
For example Timpsons (a high street shoe repair outlet) make it their policy to hire ex-offenders. By making use of this untapped resource and giving a second chance to people who would not be first choice for other employers, they have gone from strength to strength. The vast majority of these employees are loyal, hard working, make a valuable contribution to the company, and do not re-offend.
Mark the milestones
Embrace and celebrate your business milestones with joy and enthusiasm! When that significant anniversary comes around, it’s time to let the world know and make it a memorable occasion. Don’t forget to involve your staff and create a fantastic party on the actual day! We’re talking about cakes for all, party hats, and loads of laughter. As a nice keepsake, how about gifting everyone t-shirts displaying the number of years your incredible business has been thriving?
Encouraging an open-door policy is a powerful way to make people feel included and foster loyalty. Letting your door remain open sends a message that you are approachable and available for discussions and support. Encourage other managers to adopt this practice as well, promoting a culture of accessibility throughout the organization.
Remember, transparency is key. Avoid alienating your team members by keeping secrets from them. Instead, strive to be open, honest, and approachable. When you show your genuine interest in their opinions and concerns, they will appreciate your authenticity and reciprocate with loyalty and dedication. By cultivating such an atmosphere, you’ll create a strong and cohesive team that works together towards shared success.
Create a fun environment
Spice up your team building activities with a touch of humour and excitement! Come up with creative and fun ideas that will leave everyone smiling and building stronger bonds. Start with something as simple and heart-warming as a “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” – who can resist the charm of adorable canine co-workers? Not only will it add some laughter to the office, but it will also give you a chance to bond over your love for pets.
And why stop there? Take it up a notch with a fantastic themed party! Picture this: “Superhero Day,” where you all dress up as your favourite heroes and heroines. Not only will you get a good laugh out of each other’s costumes, but it’ll also be a great opportunity to showcase your creativity and imagination.
Now, to sweeten the deal, you could organize a charity raffle with some quirky prizes. How about a chance to win delicious cream cakes or a massive bag of sweeties? Just imagine the excitement and friendly competition as you all try your luck for these delectable treats!
By infusing humour into your team-building activities, you can create an environment that fosters camaraderie, breaks down barriers, and leaves you with fond memories. So unleash your creativity and make your team stronger, one laugh at a time!
Reap your rewards
Embracing positivity will undoubtedly bring numerous benefits! There’s absolutely no downside to fostering a positive company culture. By doing so, you’ll experience a significant reduction in employee absences and a remarkable increase in productivity, collaboration, and commitment. Your team will become passionate advocates for your business, thereby enhancing your reputation. Imagine being that sought-after employer everyone dreams of working for… with a few positive changes, your company can become the desirable destination.