5 tips that will build strong company cultures

Company environment. Company culture.  Work ambience.  No matter what it’s called in your company, it’s one of the reasons a company is productive or not.  This all depends on what side of the scale has more weight.

The side leaning towards bad will probably show a place where employees loathe Mondays because they think they’re walking into workplace no man’s land.  You’ll see workers with long faces and slouched shoulders.  Overall, you are sure to notice that few people really care about the company or how it looks.  Shame on you are the head of such a company or if you haven’t tried to do anything about it.

Companies with positive work environments are more productive.  It’s common sense really.  Happy people work better and are willing to go the extra mile for anything.  There are five things companies can do to make sure employees never go through the work week as zombies.

1 . Recognize the things employees do well.

 

Some might be thinking “Why should I give a person recognition for doing what’s expected of them?”  The answer is easy.  Positive feedback is a great motivator.  When we as employees hear that our efforts paid off and that they yielded positive results we encourage ourselves to continue on the right path.  We’re not saying you should start handing out gold stars, but a “Congratulations on sealing the deal, “ or “Nice participation in the meeting” are some small things that can go a long way to making sure a company has motivated collaborators.

2 . All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Boy that proverb sure is true.  Companies need to show employees there’s more to life than working.  Employees should be allowed to have spaces around the company that will allow them to relax and have fun for a while.  A space where they can a nap during their lunch hour or an outdoor area to get some fresh air.  You can even set up a whiteboard for employees to write things based on a weekly topic and showcase the best ones in the company newsletter.  Again, it’s all about raising the mood to a place where employees feel the company cares for the well-being.

3 . Show some gratitude

Thank you! Two extremely powerful words that will obtain huge results when said from the heart.  Take a moment to thank the employees for getting things done and for doing everything possible to make sure the company grows.  And this is not a one way street.  Collaborators should also be grateful when the higher ups do something for them.  It doesn’t matter how small the deed or task.  Gratitude goes a long way towards creating a sense of appreciation around the company.  And if those two words are too long you can always just say “Thanks.”

4 . Power to the people

A lot of bosses like to think they empower their subordinates to do their own thing.  However, a lot of times they are double checking everything people or they are constantly looking over their facilitators shoulders.  That’s not empowering your employees.  That’s baby-sitting them.  Assign tasks where the person is free to do things their own way and if he or she fails the company won’t suffer damaging consequences.  Set up a progress report schedule where you give feedback and where you ask why the person is handling the task the way he or she is.  A boss’ point of view is not the only way to do things.  A collaborator might have a different, more efficient way of getting the task done.  Different points of view offer different solutions to the same problem.

Additionally, companies should allow employees to speak their mind without fear of punishment or prejudice.  Employees often say what they really think about a company behind closed doors or off the record.  There should be communication channels within the company that encourage freedom of speech relating to the company’s processes and environment.

5 . Don’t go overboard on the workload.

One of the recurring factors that contributes to a poor company environment is overworking the staff.  One person should not be doing the work of two people.  That is just flat out wrong and abusive.  Divide the functions of the missing employee into several people and if the fix is permanent then modify their functions and pay accordingly.  Trying to save an extra buck can lead to companies losing their best employees to burn out or breakdowns.

Moreover, emphasize the need to complete tasks in the office and setup deadlines that will help in avoiding taking work home.   When an employee starts taking an insane amount of work home his or her personal life will suffer.  And when that happens you can bet productivity in the office will take a hit.  Overwhelming collaborators with too many things beyond their abilities is one of the quickest ways to get them to start looking for work elsewhere.  

Money is not everything to a person in a company.  Yes.  Most if not everyone wants to rise on the salary ladder but a healthy working environment is the key to maintaining your most valuable assets: the people who make the company run like a well-oiled machine.

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