By Ideas Collide
Building a positive culture and ensuring your company is a great place to work requires a commitment from the organization’s leadership—and also every team member. At Ideas Collide, we focus on building fantastic teams, which in turn builds our amazing culture. This process begins with leadership before extending to each team member, who each act as a stakeholder, thus ensuring a great work environment is built and maintained by all.
One of the driving reasons behind the creation of Ideas Collide’s culture was the question: if you don’t love your work, how can you love your life? Work consumes so much of our day-to-day time, making it critical that employees enjoy their time while at work. It’s the cultivation of a great work environment that becomes the key to retaining happy, engaged team members and reaching business goals.
Here are three ideas on how you can build an amazing culture in your business, no matter the size:
FIRST- Keep in mind that this starts with you. Committed leadership and executives are necessary, each invested in the creation of a greater culture is essential, though this process also simultaneously starts from the ground up. Disengaged workers cost a company loss revenue, upset customers and a feeling of tension across the workplace. Fast Company estimated that lost productivity costs U.S. companies over $350 billion annually.
Simple employee programs can help boost morale, increasing the energy of an organization and causing a big impact on the bottom line. Start small, with simple ideas. Arrange your department to model behavior you want to see and advocate it to those who can influence others.
SECOND- Generously give back to your employees. This applies to teams, business units or the company as a whole. If you are a leader, work at showing recognition and rewards. You’ll be surprised at the impact something as small as a shout-out has.
At Ideas Collide, we end each week with a “brag session” where employees recognize each other for delivering top-notch work or pitching in to help finish a project. This helps boost pride in the work while driving a collaborative workplace.
Being generous also means going above and beyond, such as buying lunch for employees. If a team is stuck pulling late hours for multiple consecutive days, ease the stress and show appreciation with management bringing lunch for the team into the office.
Nothing all acts of generosity have to be grand. Little things produced by a boss, leader or manager—such as a simple hand-written note or email calling out someone for their great work—creates a difference in attitude as employees become determined to go the extra mile.
THIRD– Make it fun (but authentic). Don’t schedule “fun time” on the calendar, forcing the goal of having fun onto your employees. Instead, find creative ways for team members to bring their personality to work. Lunch breaks here at Ideas Collide often involve board games, trivia questions or watching the latest Saturday Night Live skit.
If causal Friday or Hawaiian shirt day feels too forced, mix up your culture with a new approach. We have college football Fridays during the season, where employees are encouraged to wear their college team’s jersey to work in an effort to show fan support. It’s a way to pause from never-ending deadlines as they talk about their teams, sharing football highlights and stories.
Other way’s we’ve had fun as a firm include going out to breakfast, using lunch hour to go bowling, closing the agency early for Happy Hour or catching the latest summer blockbuster. While these options may not be applicable to your workplace, think creatively about what you can do to make work more enjoyable.
Breaking away from the standard routine can be as simple as running a list of 21 questions about each team member, learning about what makes them unique. As you bring the fun in, make your team a part of the decision of activities to try, and watch as it changes the daily grind of the workday.
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