| By The Chamber Edge
| Photo by Brielle Farmer
It's no surprise that happy people are productive people. But do you know what it takes to make or keep your staff content? Is having a foosball table in the lounge or being able to bring your dog to work what makes the difference?
Tucson Metro Chamber has learned a thing or two about how to create a stellar company culture from hosting the Copper Cactus Awards. The locally owned small businesses that are recognized for their accomplishments and innovation each year would not have the same success without providing a place to work where their employees feel motivated, creative and satisfied.
Here are some ways to create a workplace environment that will help your business and employees succeed.
Get Out of the Office
Plan company events so coworkers get to know each other on a different level. Come up with a variety of ways to do this because activities such as karaoke won't appeal to everyone (although it is a fun way to discover that the wallflower of the office can hit the high notes or rap like Eminem). Coordinating a volunteer outing to help the community, getting crafty or other team-building activities, are excellent ways to engage employees.
Not every company has the means to be like Google and provide playgrounds, massages and bowling alleys, but even small businesses can allow employees to work from home occasionally, use personal time by the hour instead of by the day or shift hours around if the full 40 hours are being worked each week. After all, people's peak productivity hours vary.
Spread the Wealth
Company culture isn't just about having fun. It's about encouraging employees to feel more invested in the company and knowing that their ideas can make a difference in the company's success. Since people often feel motivated by money, offering incentives, giving bonuses or profit sharing are always well received. Giving free company swag is nice, too.
Help employees maintain good health since they'll do their best work when they are feeling their best physically and emotionally. Providing sit-to-stand desks, free or discounted gym memberships or simply encouraging midday walks are little things that make a big impact. And providing healthy snacks helps offset the ever-present temptations, such as birthday cake.
Create a Home Away From Home
A proper working environment helps employees feel comfortable and creative. Declutter messy bookshelves, have spots for groups to collaborate as well as areas for relaxation. Let employees add personality to their space so they're content spending time there. After all, during the workweek most people spend more awake hours at the office than at home.
Becoming more aware of these general tips to help improve your company culture is the first step. You may find that it takes time to build a thriving culture to create a high-performing team. But who knows, maybe you'll be the proud winner of a Copper Cactus Award this year. It's an excellent goal to have.