Last week, I wrote about the importance of being an employer of choice. From increasing employee productivity to establishing a good reputation in your community that yields top-notch applicants, working to become an employer of choice is a good business strategy. Becoming an employer of choice has just as much to do with establishing a positive office culture as it does with offering employees competitive salaries and benefits.
But as an employer, how do you create an office culture within your agency that makes employees feel valued and appreciated?
- The Group Huddle.
Meetings and conferences are nothing new to office culture. But often, staff meetings turn into employees being TALKED TO rather than employees TALKING. Try re-framing the way your weekly staff meeting operates. While, as a manager, it’s important to disseminate critical information to employees, it’s just as important to hear what those employees have to say: What’s working? What’s not? Does anyone have suggestions for streamlining operations? Who has issues that need addressing? Re-framing your staff meetings into group huddles make employees feel like they are valued and help to establish a team mentality.
- Turn Your Office into a Fun House.
Consider this: Companies pay lots of money to take staff members on team building retreats because studies have shown that when employees feel they are part of a team, they are more productive. At the same time, no one likes to feel forced to interact, and many employees don’t look forward to such excursions. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or hire professionals to build a sense of team. For under $200, you have lots of options for incorporating teamwork into your office culture in a fun and innate way. Putting a ping pong table in your office is a great way to encourage employees to interact organically and on their terms. For under $200, turn your office into a mini golf course and hold a tournament every other week. If your employees are sports-lovers, put a basketball hoop in the parking lot. If your employees are yoga-lovers, hire a professional yoga instructor to come in every other week and offer your employees an hour-long session. None of these options will break the bank, and all of them help create a positive office culture.
Remember not to think small. If you think of the half-hour of mini-golf in which your employees interact and build relationships as time they SHOULD be working, then you are missing the point. That half-hour of golf is part of a much bigger strategy: to create an inviting atmosphere for employees, and for those employees to organically develop a team mentality.
Check back soon for Part 2!