Office culture is not something that just exists, it is about the beliefs and values of your work place, which then set precedent for the behaviours of those who are working for you. This requires an understanding of your staff, and is not just about throwing the odd office party or allowing early finishes on pay day (although that does help).
Whilst it’s all well and good deciding that you need an office culture that is motivating and positive, in order to achieve that your core values need to be established. Your ethos must represent every tier in the hierarchy of your business, not just those at the top. A lunch in a relaxed space outside of the office could be a great way to get the creative juices flowing (as long as the alcoholic juices are left aside). Brainstorm ideas on what will make your company as successful as possible, taking into consideration each departments goal. Management must really listen to what everyone wants in order to create values which reflect the suggestions.
Time to Practice what you Preach
If you achieve a smooth transition from concept to practice, chances are your employees will align with the culture, which is massively important. Even though you’ve now decided on your ethos, your employees need to want to follow it. If those who work for you are proud of their company, and excited by the culture, they will be empowered and encouraged to work to the best of their ability. This requires strong leadership that enforces and reminds those within the business what they are all about.
A key factor in ensuring a successful company culture is a mutually respectful and caring environment. Regardless of the size of your company, you are one big team and therefore should have a vested interest in the wellbeing of your colleagues. If that is lacking, the vibe of your office will suffer as it could feel like every man for themselves. Communication is key in achieving this. In order for those who work for you to be aware of the mission, vision and values, which could be ever evolving, information needs to be disseminated.
Spreading the Love
To encourage team work and a cohesive workforce, arranged events outside of the office are a great way to ensure relationships are formed. A monthly team breakfast could be an idea, or attending a happy hour every month; it will provide your employees the opportunity to get to know one another on a more personal level.
Another great option would be to volunteer as a team, not only does it give you the opportunity to give back, but it’s also promoting your company as one which is socially conscious. Doing a team walk for charity is a good place to start, not only are you doing good for others but also yourself thanks to the exercise.
It’s all about balance, once you have established what your business is all about, you can ensure that there is fun and creativity in the office, as long as it is not to the detriment of productivity. Now, go and be cultured and raise your teams’ spirits!