Office culture is often touted as the secret sauce for companies wanting to attract and retain top talent, boost their employees’ productivity and grow their brand into a more profitable enterprise. But the notion that culture held this kind of power was little more than intuition … until now.
In a culture-related omnibus survey of more than 500 small businesses, the results around the effects of culture were indisputable. The survey revealed that 9-in-10 managers surveyed feel culture plays an important or somewhat important role in the success of their company. They acknowledge that young professionals want — and expect — a vibrant work environment that allows them to be themselves, innovate and build relationships with their coworkers. Despite this need, 7-in-10 admit feeling unsatisfied with the culture in their workplaces.
Ready to Improve Your Office Culture?
If you find yourself in that group of unsatisfied workers, making changes to improve your office culture doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Here’s how to create an environment that keeps people excited to come to work:
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Create gathering spaces
Groove, a digital marketing firm in Baltimore, MD, intentionally designed gathering spaces for their team. Aside from turnstone Big Tables in their common areas, Groove installed an in-house bar featuring a stage and café area for multi-purpose use. Spaces like this send the message that teammates are more than work buddies. They’re family.
Pausing during the day to celebrate company milestones, big client wins, employee birthdays and work anniversaries brings the team together and builds bonds that go deeper than a logo alone ever will. Consider using monthly business meetings, impromptu standup meetings and lunchtime to mark work anniversaries and birthdays within your team. Celebrations boost morale and remind your team that they’re working toward common goals.
Share a meal
Nothing brings people together like food! Sweet Roots NYC, Greatist and Well+Good keep healthy food at the center of their operations, and by doing so, underscore the importance of coming together around a shared passion. Food invites conversation and laughter, and sets the table for great memories in the office.
Red Door Interactive has built-in weekly gatherings to acknowledge team members who exemplify the company’s core values of inspiring others, exceeding expectations and embodying their “100% jerk free” motto. This kind of transparency demonstrates that leadership sees and acknowledges what’s happening at work, while underscoring a commitment to rewarding those who live a “what-you-see-is-what-you-get” kind of life.
Be authentic and allow others to do the same
Authenticity in the workplace is not only a hallmark of great office culture, but a staple of wellbeing. Steelcase research shows that the freedom to be “really yourself,” is paramount for leaders desiring to communicate employee worth and promote individuality. So allow workers to bring in photos, plants and items of personal value. When people get the green light to put their passions on display, your office culture will shine.
Offer choice and control in the office
Giving your team flexibility is crucial to vibrant office culture. Designing an environment offering a palette of places and a palette of postures cannot be underestimated. Allowing workers to choose the location and style of their workspace sends the message that their comfort and productivity trump precedents of the past. Incorporating standing-height tables, walk stations, lounge furniture and casual group collaboration areas are just a few ways to accomplish this.
Don’t forget to have fun
Professionals want to enjoy meaningful fun that brings the team together at work. Group softball games, field days and pie eating contests are all part of coworking facility WeWork’s famous summer camp excursion, and are examples of fun activities you can implement, too. Infusing your space with fun will help you snag the team members you want, and more importantly, keep them.