Creating a strong workplace culture has become a staple of entrepreneurship. Progressive businesses across the country are luring top candidates not only with high salaries and benefits, but with the promise to join a fulfilling team of like-minded individuals.
Considering how easy it can be to improve the atmosphere in a workplace, there’s no excuse to cling to antiquated practices that restrict the free flow of ideas.
There are plenty of ways to improve workplace culture, but in my experience, these are the quickest, easiest, and most effective ways to take your office life to the next level:
This sounds like a simple and obvious solution, but you’ll be surprised by how challenging it can be to keep fun a priority. In this case, practice makes perfect.
Make it a habit to evaluate morale in your workplace; if it’s suffering, a break for fun can lift spirits and boost success. Give your team a chance to enjoy themselves; it’ll undoubtedly create a friendlier, happier, and all-around healthier environment for everyone.
No great measures need to be taken for this to work, either. Small breaks or activities can work wonders and create a proud team dedicated to improving workplace culture. Foot the bill for a happy hour or incentivize goal-meeting with parties and prizes.
One of the most common issues plaguing workplace cultures today is a lack of overall direction. This has multiple negative effects on employees, from a decrease in motivation to general job unhappiness.
As a leader, you’re responsible for establishing a series of goals to achieve: These should guide your decisions and, by extension, your employees'. When employees are united in working toward clear, common objectives, your team becomes a cohesive unit rather than a number of vaguely related coworkers. The ensuing camaraderie will encourage and motivate everyone, and the overall atmosphere will dramatically benefit.
Which sounds easier to organize and lead: an army of disinterested drones or a fleet of burgeoning, self-starting entrepreneurs?
There’s no question that there’s value in encouraging your employees to see themselves as leaders at every level. Entrepreneurial thinking is characterized by its highly motivated and dedicated nature, and having a team of entrepreneurial thinkers does amazing things for workplace culture.
Not only will invested workers be more dedicated to their job, but they’ll encourage and inspire each other to do their best. As an added bonus, this kind of office climate has been proven to generate fresh ideas and more creative thinking.
"When you empower your employees by creating an entrepreneurial environment, you take your business to the next level," says BIZFIT 2015 founder Colin McGuire. "Motivated, passionate employees are resourceful enough to develop creative and effective solutions to problems and roadblocks on their own."
Creating a collaborative process with your team has wide-ranging effects, and all are positive. When leaders share ideas and updates with their employees, open communication becomes second nature, and everyone feels equally invested in the company’s overall goals.
This goes both ways. When all ideas are heard and considered, everyone on the team feels valued, and ultimately more satisfied with their work. Include your employees in decisions and discussions whenever possible, and try to be transparent about the reasoning behind your decisions. You’ll find your team is more likely to side with you than stand against you, and they’ll come to value your guidance if they feel you consider theirs.
Once you succeed in building a team of entrepreneurs, use a healthy spirit of competition to your advantage. Don’t fall into the trap of pitting employees against each other; instead, consider this an opportunity to recognize the work your team members do.
It’s well known that incentives, rewards, and recognition increase employee satisfaction, but adding an aspect of public acknowledgment includes your whole team in celebrations of successes. As an added bonus, this improves workplace culture overall, fostering an environment that recognizes and aspires to key business values.
Aspire to a culture of success guided by positive affirmations.