Managing Your Business
Using Company Culture to Build Your Business
If you currently operate in an office, employees spend anywhere from 8 to 10 hours striving to build your company. Company culture can either motivate employees to produce better results or damage your business if employees lose faith in the company. Through big changes like redesigning the office or even small changes like adding a weekly team meeting, your company culture can improve drastically.
Why is Company Engagement Important?
There are many reasons to improve your engagement with your employees, including 3 in particular:
- Reduction of turnover. If you’re experiencing high turnover, consider improving company culture. Gallup’s state of the workplace report notes that highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover.
- Increased productivity. The Department of Economics at Warwick released a study that showed 12% increased productivity in happy people and 10% decreased productivity in unhappy people.
- Better edge in recruiting. In April, students are preparing for new internships and full-time jobs post-graduation. Having company culture not only helps your existing employees, but also makes your company more attractive against others during hiring season.
Company Culture Ideas That Work
The types of company culture vary depending on the business. Ideally, business practices should revolve around the ideals and values of the company. For reference, here are a few ideas that might improve your company’s environment:
Be open to suggestions & feedback.
Something as simple as scheduling a 30-minute weekly meeting with the team to review progress and feedback gives the employee a sense of inclusion, especially if the meetings consist of brainstorming. Allow employees to contribute their ideas and feel valued. Opinions from your employees might even bring to light issues you weren’t previously aware of.
There are many other benefits of having a team meeting other than team bonding, including keeping others informed, solving issues quicker, and scouting out potential future leaders among your peers. That being said, meetings need to be productive to avoid wasted time and lost morale. If not organized well, meetings might miss the opportunity to bring the team closer.
Switch up your office environment.
Your employees spend most of their day in the office, and they want their time to be well-spent. Changing your environment can mean many things, such as physically re-arranging desks, providing healthier snack options, or simply removing the “office” altogether to encourage a work-life balance.
Traditional office spaces are slowly diminishing and meticulous “space planning” has taken hold, particularly with the new generation. Gensler’s 2016 U.S. Workplace Survey found that most innovative companies thrive in workplaces that benefit the individual as well as group settings for collaboration. Other companies allow their employees to work remotely entirely or for a few days a week, which has proven to significantly reduce the number of sick/personal days used by employees. According to the Global Mobile Workforce Forecast, 42.5% of the global workforce is also predicted to work mobile. Be sure to prepare for the transformation in work environments by improving communication and technology.
Organize in- & out-of-office activities.
Organize in-office activities to break the monotonous daily routine. Swyft Filings, for example, engages in lunch and learns, book clubs, ping pong tournaments, and occasional games of P.I.G. with our basketball goal. Activities such as these are also social media opportunities — National Pet Day, Bring Your Child to Work Day, and Pajama Day are fun ideas that also double as quality social media content.
Volunteering, sports competitions, and happy hours are common activities out of the office hosted by companies. These don’t have to be organized without reason — use this as an opportunity to celebrate accomplished goals. We understand that not every company can afford to take a half- or full-Friday away from the office. For example, because Swyft Filings speaks with customers 9 am - 6 pm CST, we organized a 5k on a Saturday morning with a $20 gift card to whoever can beat our president’s time (no one was able to). The outing helped us bond while instilling a sense of competition.
The Lasting Effects of Company Culture
A solid business culture doesn’t happen instantly. You may experience several trial and errors to find what works for you. If the modifications seem overwhelming, start small and work your way up to larger improvements. Once you find a company culture process that works, the positive effects of higher productivity, lower employee turnover, and attractive hires will eventually follow.