Having motivated, happy employees is a key factor in any business’s success. Having a great company culture doesn’t have to cost a fortune and will simultaneously improve employee engagement, efficiency, and customer relations. Here are some top tips for creating a vibrant and strong company culture.
Hire for skill and attitude
Hiring for ability and skill seems like an obvious point to make but it is a vital factor for success when considering small businesses. All potential staff need to meet or exceed the requirements of the role and have the competencies to fulfill their specific function. Staff can be limited in a small business, so be sure to hire strategically and logically when choosing candidates. Take a detailed look at the role you are hiring for, what that individual would be doing on a daily basis, and then look for evidence that they can meet the requirements with ease. This evidence should ideally come from concrete examples of work that mirrors the work of the advertised role, but can also come from their education, their internships, and their personal work. If they have work that has received awards or certification, consider that, too.
However, along with skills and competencies, the candidates chosen should have an equally good attitude. See if the candidate would be a contributing factor to your team’s morale, as this can significantly affect your business’ productivity. Small businesses can face many challenges, and a positive attitude is a crucial factor when considering how much each individual counts. However, boosting and cultivating morale isn’t just a one-sided effort.
Commit to creating an enjoyable atmosphere
This doesn’t mean breaking the bank, and can simply be small but regular efforts that staff will appreciate. This might be investing in a great coffee machine, decorating the office to make it more aesthetically pleasing, or purchasing some snacks once a week for your staff. It might be that all you can do is to make sure that the office is clean and fragrant, but even this is a step in the right direction of improving the environment and atmosphere.
Have faith in your employees
No one likes a micro-manager, and it’s important that you can trust your employees enough to make big decisions on their own initiative. This will empower them in their position, and allow you to focus on your own work more effectively. Additionally, you may want to explore further ways that staff can make autonomous decisions to positively impact your business.
Here are 5 ways to create more autonomy at work:
Show small regular appreciation for your employees
Other than nurturing your staff and physical space consistently, it’s a good idea to add little surprises! Can you think of some small ways to show your employees that you appreciate them? This could be a free coffee in the morning, a free lunch, or a half-day activity.
Foster a culture of learning and continuous development
Opportunities for learning are everywhere and should be utilised as much as possible. There are webinars, seminars, talks, and online courses to name just a few. In addition, there are other ways to learn including staff shadowing other staff, creating your own library of books in the office, staff doing their own industry research online, or you could even create team quizzes about your business or industry. Some sites you can use to learn online include Edx.org, Lynda.com, and Coursera.org
Visit locations outside of the office
Wherever you’re based, there will be somewhere you can go to get out of the office. You could look up local speaking events, museums to visit, employee volunteering, or something else that will allow your employees to step away from work and return invigorated and refreshed. The renewed focus will strengthen productivity.
These are just some of the ways you can strengthen staff relationships and your business. A culture of happiness, wellbeing, and continuous development will maximise productivity, which in turn will help you to achieve your goals and retain talent.
Rosie is a qualified Journalist, NCTJ certified, and is currently an MSt student in Literature and Arts at Oxford University. Having worked in editing, communications, and brand strategy in agencies in Seoul and London, she is passionate about producing intelligent writing with practical and creative value. Previously a Content Editor and Writer at the UK Domain.Read full profile