Planning for a successful business year involves many aspects – optimising products and services, leaning down on cost whilst maximising profitability, marketing on multiple levels and staying on trend play a huge role.
But one of the main factors in increased profitability is having a positive corporate culture – inspiring your employees to want to be part of the company’s growth, take an active role in daily improvements, feel rewarded and share their inspiration with colleagues goes a very long way in supporting corporate goals and objectives.
But how does one foster a positive corporate culture?
Here are some insider tips that can be fairly easy to implement, and have an immediately positive impact…
We all like to think that we know the people we work with, and what role they play in the business functions, but do we really?
Oftentimes we may know a fair bit about people in our immediate department or division, but really not know a great deal about those in other areas. For example, an accounts department may not have regular dealings with warehouse staff, other than at the odd Christmas party.
As management, fostering an environment where people don’t feel like they work in silos, and are able to really get to know and understand the roles that other people in the business play is a vital part of creating a shared team spirit.
Added to this, knowing more about your work colleagues’ lives outside of work can really help to break down barriers – taking an interest in someone’s weekend activities, holiday destinations, sporting endeavours etc. is an excellent way to find out more about them in a non-intrusive way.
Management can play a key role here – arranging regular social events to which the entire business is invited – for example, snacks and drinks on a Friday afternoon, regular charity events (a Fun Run/Walk for example), summer BBQs, team events such as ten-pin bowling – are great ways to bring people together.
If the team has really performed well, take them away for a retreat or weekend away – small cost to company, huge positive sentiment for staff who will return to the office raring to go.
Involve your staff in planning – put a suggestions emailer out asking for activity ideas. That way you’ll cater for a range of interests and activities.
Take an inclusive approach to defining exactly what it is your company is there to do, how it plans to do it, why it is the best at what it does, and where the company is headed.
And communicate honestly, openly and regularly to all staff – there are few things more destructive to trust and a positive culture than withholding information from certain staff. If the company has had a good month, let everyone know. If there’s a need to push the numbers, let everyone know.
Making people feel part of the total process makes them feel valuable and important. And reward those who go the extra mile, whether in a month when things are going brilliantly, or when their hard yards when times are tough have demonstrated their commitment.
You don’t always have to pay a massive bonus, or splash out on an elaborate award – sometimes just a voucher to a local store is a great way of telling someone “Thank you, you matter”. Set targets for people, and reward them regularly for achieving these targets.
Finding a work-life balance is a huge challenge, and a stark reality for many people – single parents, those on lower incomes, those with family members who may need extra care etc. can find stringent working hours a challenge, but will have the same desire to work and contribute to the company.
Whether it’s flexible work schedules or even the option to work remotely occasionally, companies who place their focus on results and encourage self-care tend to have happier employees who are more motivated and loyal.
You can help your employees find that balance through reimbursed gym memberships, in-office chill-out areas, office yoga classes, travelling massage therapists and other health-related perks – a healthy staff is generally a happy staff!
These are just some things you can implement quickly to help foster a positive culture in your business. And the impact on your bottom line will soon be evident – a study by Columbia University in the United States last year showed a 14% increase in profitability in companies that implemented just some of the steps above!