In today’s business environment, it has never been more important for you to develop a company culture that sets you apart from your competitors, as well as creates an atmosphere that fosters a strong work ethic amongst your employees. This is because happy employees are the best employees!
In the six years of running my digital marketing agency, Markitors, I have implemented these ten strategies that have led to a unique culture that attracts new employees as well as retains our current talent.
Know Your Values (make sure your employees know them too!)
Every company is built upon a foundation of values that not only create a strong brand identity but also measure success! I strongly recommend sitting down and reflecting on what you want your employees to think about their workplace and how you would want them to communicate that to their peers. Are you a company that is focused on work-life balance? Always being on the cutting edge of innovation? Once you identify what sets you apart, you will be able to inform your employees of what goals you want to accomplish together and how you will help them do so.
Employees at Every Level Should Contribute
It is not solely up to managers and higher ups to set and execute company culture. It only works if everyone believes and contributes to the vision. A tactic we personally employ is giving every employee a credit card and modest budget to buy any items they think will improve company culture. Whether they bring in a lavender candle to help everyone relax or a panini maker to brighten up everyone’s lunch break, they are each personally responsible for making the workplace more enjoyable for everyone.
Be Transparent About the Good and the Bad
Communication is the most important element of any relationship, including professional ones. If your employees are “in the know” about what your company is excelling at and what you need to improve on, chances are they will take initiative and worker harder to correct any failures. Here at Markitors we post our monthly revenue in the break room, and have a brief discussion of the lay of the land before it is updated. By doing so, every employee is aware of the month’s starting salary, target revenue, and any deductions or increases we have experienced. This level of transparency keeps everyone “in the know” and motivated.
Promote Strong Relationships Amongst Employees
Regardless if your company utilizes a team model or not, employees should feel a strong sense of comradery in the office. This will help them reach out to one another in times of confusion or simply being overwhelmed by their workload. A few ways we promote these strong relationships are: potlucks during lunch breaks, office outings to celebrate major milestones, and remote work days- where we all decide to work from a local coffee shop!
Give Regular Feedback
There are so many benefits to giving regular feedback as opposed to quarterly reviews. The constant communication between managers and employees will foster an environment where everyone is more comfortable speaking up about concerns they may have. This also gives employees the opportunity to address any mistakes they have been making, and more importantly, ensure they aren’t making it for the entire quarter!
Be Flexible, Everyone has a Life Outside of the Office
Whether it be their best friend’s wedding,or their child’s soccer game, everyone needs a day away from the office. It is important that managers understand that their employees have responsibilities outside of the office, and as a result are more flexible when it comes to managing work schedules. According to a study by Bentley University, 77% of Millennials believe flexible work hours would make them more productive. Moreover, when employees are satisfied in their personal and professional life it will increase morale and motivation.
Comfort is Key
Do away with constricting business suits and uncomfortable heels! By allowing for a casual dress code, employees will feel that your company supports their individual brand. An added benefit for your employees is that they don’t have to spend a ton of their hard earned paycheck on blazers and trousers they don’t enjoy wearing. On the flip side, dressing too casually might discredit your company’s authority when meeting with customers. A typical rule of thumb your employees should keep in mind with a casual dress code is: Don’t wear anything you wouldn’t want a client to see you in!
Create a Space that Fosters Creativity
The space in which someone works greatly influences the number and quality of deliverable in the end. This doesn’t mean I advise every business owner to turn their office into a mini Google Campus, but I do believe that your office should have some areas that your employees can escape to. At our office, if employees ever get tired of sitting at their desks (not cubicles!) they are free to relocate to a picnic bench on the patio or a massive bean bag chair in our conference room. This ensures that they never feel chained to their desk and also allows for greater collaboration.
Invest in Motivating your Employees
No matter what industry you work in, work can feel repetitive. Waking up every morning at the same time to go into the office to do the same tasks can burn out even the most motivated employees. Acknowledging this and tackling it head on will help your employees be more productive and in turn, help your company grow!
To keep my employees motivated, I have successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders come into the office every month for our “Speaker Series”. By sharing their stories, struggles, and achievements, my employees feel inspired and also get the chance to network with some really awesome people in different industries.
Close the Gap
Power distance is a timeless metric that drastically influences company culture. If you want your employees to feel important, you need to close the gap between the employees at the executive and entry level. The more confident employees feel about voicing their concerns, and that those concerns will be addressed, the more valued they will feel- which is key to retaining all the talented individuals you have recruited!
By employing these tactics, you can easily elevate your company and ensure that you have a culture that your employees will love and that you can be proud of. So what are you waiting for?
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