A great corporate culture is one of those things you hear about from big companies. They have gyms in their buildings, napping pods, free breakfast every day. Of course, when a business has been around for a while and has solid human resources and financial stability, it’s a lot easier to incorporate luxurious perks in the annual budget. But company culture doesn’t have to be about midday massages or a lot full of electric cars for those in need of a ride. Small businesses can create a corporate culture that works even on a budget.
A great company culture doesn’t just depend on management. The employees play a big part in the work environment, too. When you are in a heavy hiring phase, don’t try to fill seats with just anybody. Skills alone don’t measure the potential success of an employee. Look for well-rounded professionals who have a variety of interests. Your current and future employees should be able to blend well together and adapt to changes. Along with your human resources representative (if you have one), have a couple of people take the time to conduct interviews with potential new hires. Multiple interviews can help demonstrate how a person might interact with different employees on different levels.
People spend a majority of their lives at work; don’t be afraid to make the workplace enjoyable. Having fun on the job isn’t necessarily the same thing as being unprofessional or goofing off. Celebrate birthdays with everyone in the office. You can do this once a month to save money. Anyone whose birthday falls within the month gets their name on a cake or their own individual card. However you choose to do it, make it a collective event. During football season, set up certain Fridays or Mondays when employees can sport a jersey or t-shirt from their favorite team. As small as they may seem, activities like these can create bonds between employees and management.
When an employee goes above and beyond, treat them to something special. If your company lands a big client, celebrate! Make it known that hard work and success doesn’t go unnoticed in the office. Rewarding people for a job well done will only encourage them to continue succeeding and motivate others to do better. Implementing a system that offers incentives for employees who surpass their goals or produce high quality work might be something to look into. Tangible rewards provide a great motivating system.
People who work for and towards the same goals and reasons tend to feel better about their work. Try to find out what really motivates your employees, and every now and then, remind them why they wanted to work with you. Even if they seem to only be interested in the fact that you pay for their parking spot every day, help them understand that without working together towards company goals, paying for a spot in the garage would never happen. If employees know they are on the same thinking level as managers and business owners, they will feel more valued within their role and company. When people work together, they succeed together.
Business owners and managers are sometimes overprotective of their company and want to make sure everything is done to a T, but there comes a time when breathing down employees’ necks is no longer effective. No one likes a manager who micromanages and hovers over every action. If you have the time to babysit all of your employees, then you must not be running your business very efficiently. When people know they are trusted with making decisions, they will feel personally responsible and take ownership of their work. Trust encourages employees to think freely and outside of the box because they’re more comfortable when they don’t have to worry about someone hounding them about every detail.
Creating an enticing corporate culture isn’t always about lavish material things. It’s mostly about helping your employees feel a certain way when they’re at work. It starts with bringing in the right people the first time, then building on their successes and visions within the company. Making someone feel valued and important is one of the biggest attributes to a great company culture, and there’s no price tag on that.