As progressive companies such as Google and Amazon lead the way for successful business growth, the importance of replicating the strong company culture heralded by these companies is becoming increasingly appealing to most businesses.
Certainly, with most professionals now seeking a new set of benefits from their employers, building an outstanding company culture that can offer these benefits has become a top priority for business leaders. A strong culture can unleash the power of each team member and can deliver an immense pay-off in the company’s long-term success – attracting higher-caliber candidates, increasing overall retention rates, improving performance, and lowering company costs through reduced absenteeism and improved productivity and creativity.
For companies that are budget-conscious, however, it’s not always obvious what steps to take or how to build up a great culture in a viable manner. So we’ve compiled a list of the five best low-cost and actionable initiatives that your company can start implementing today in order to make sure a strong and engaging company culture is accounted for.
- Utilise modern communication to improve worker transparency
A common complaint associated with job dissatisfaction is that employees don’t feel heard or listened to, or feel limited by a lack of communication. To combat this, it is imperative that your team have access to up-to-date, easy and efficient ways to connect with one another and to encourage networks of open contribution and feedback.
Employ tools like Skype for conference calls, Google hangouts and Trello for project management, and set up anonymous web-based programs like Officevibe to send out regular questionnaires to workers. Providing channels for easy communication and feedback ensures that everyone is on the same page, feels heard and is given a voice. It will also provide the company a chance to keep a pulse on the morale and concerns of the team, and to identify and resolve problems before they negatively impact the work environment.
- Recognise, reward and incentivise
One of the most important ways to improve the culture within your company is to regularly acknowledge and reward workers for their efforts. Doing so can instantly boost employee happiness, confidence and engagement level; creating a workforce that is empowered, motivated and driven to succeed. Implement regular initiatives for inter-office celebration, such as ‘Employee of the Month’ awards, to ensure that workers receive incentive and validation to continuously perform to a high standard.
It’s also important to note that employee recognition needn’t come exclusively from the top – in fact, peer-to-peer recognition may be the most effective method of infusing recognition within your work culture. Fostering and environment of positive peer recognition and encouragement will boost morale and organically strengthen the relationship between workers as a result of each member perceiving a greater sense of self-value and satisfaction amongst the team.
- Prioritise employee wellbeing through better nutrition
Safe Work Australia reports that poor health and wellbeing costs Australian businesses more than $10 billion per year. Emerging studies emphasise this link between employee health and workplace productivity, showcasing the increasing and imperative need for workplaces to encourage greater wellbeing within the office.
Certainly, employees are the best asset of every business, and looking after your team through greater wellbeing practices will ensure employees feel valued and will increase productivity through reduced absenteeism.
An Australian study into the relationship between health and productivity has shown that healthy employees are almost three times more effective than their unhealthier colleagues – being able to work 143 effective hours per month compared to the 49 hours worked by the less healthy2 One of the most effective ways you can help your employees to develop and maintain a healthier profile is by encouraging better eating habits and improved nutrition in the office. Employ cost-effective strategies such as healthy snack-box offerings and corporate catering, as well as removing unhealthy options and providing an open and well-facilitated kitchen area.
These simple strategies will readily improve employee performance at work, by increasing their mental clarity, output and energy levels, innovation and overall stamina throughout the working day.
- Get the team moving
Physically active employees take 27% less sick days than non-active employees, and studies have shown that individual work performance can be improved between 4-15% when employees engage in regular physical activity. Certainly, the advantages for employers who encourage physical activity within the workplace are immense – not only through a positive effect on employee performance, reduced sickness costs and lower rates of employee stress and absenteeism – but also through encouraging greater workplace motivation and goal-setting.
Introduce exercise-based initiatives such as step challenges, office Olympics and Biggest Loser competitions to encourage motivation coupled with friendly competition among the team, all the while encouraging better wellbeing for members.
- Provide opportunities for growth and development
Employees are happier, more driven and better engaged when they’re challenged and have opportunities to progress within the company. To ensure your team isn’t left feeling bored, complacent or dissatisfied that they’re not being promoted, it is important to find ways to provide your team with opportunities for realistic and sustainable advancement.
Conduct regular training sessions that target new skill sets and encourage members to expand their knowledge-base, and arrange performance reviews and goal-setting sessions with staff members to ascertain individual aspirations and specific areas in which each member would like to experience growth and development in. Identifying these areas and creating transparency with workers in terms of how they can grow and expand within the business will keep them feeling motivated, on track and primed for success and satisfaction.