5 Ways to Create a Great Office Culture
There’s no doubt that a healthy organizational culture is one of the greatest assets any company could have. Employee engagement, motivation, retention, and talent attraction are greatly influenced by company culture.
But culture can be an abstract concept. How exactly can a healthy corporate culture be cultivated in an office environment? In this article we’ll look into five ways you can do so.
A balanced work environment
People come to the office to work. However, even in a work setting, it is important to cultivate an atmosphere that facilitates the balance between hard work and rest.
With this notion in mind, office spaces can be rethought to include dedicated spaces for working alone, working in teams, and socializing. In addition, areas designed to promote rest and relaxation – such as quiet rooms, meditation spaces, or well-designed break areas – should be added into the mix to facilitate a healthy and balanced working environment.
You may also want to think about activity-based design, which not only benefits staff, but can also deliver gains to productivity and performance.
Recognition is performance-based, whereas appreciation reinforces the real value staff bring to a company. Both are useful to create a healthy corporate culture, however, appreciation tends to be overlooked in favor of recognition.
Small details can make a world of a difference. For example, acts such as occasionally bringing in specialty coffee for the team, leaving a box of donuts in the kitchen, or organizing a team building day of activities, are all meaningful ways of expressing appreciation. Of course, this will require active listening to know exactly what the team requires and what avenues of appreciation would be most effective.
A lot of friction found in the workplace stems from misunderstandings, so clear and transparent communication is part of a healthy company culture. Make sure goals, expectations, and processes are well-defined, whilst keeping communication channels open. Leaders should encourage discussion and the respectful expression of differences, then work together to align action with mission and values.
You can read some useful recommendations on how to build a two-way communication strategy here.
Focus on growth
There’s an important difference between growth-focused and performance-obsessed cultures. The former can propel companies forward, but the latter are riddled with dysfunctional behaviors that lead to absenteeism, unhealthy competition, and high employee turnover.
Creating a company culture that directly taps into the innate human desire for growth and development can lead to extraordinary results. Where possible, develop personalized opportunities for professional development and constantly gather feedback to ensure that these opportunities are relevant to your staff.
Adopt a flexible approach to change
Change is a constant in life, and organizations that resist it are more likely to struggle or fail. A rigid culture can also lead to burnout and generalized dissatisfaction. By contrast, a strong corporate culture isn’t afraid of change and is flexible by nature.
Being flexible does not necessarily involve implementing change for the sake of change, but rather as a result of authentic conversations across all levels of the business that is guided by the fundamental values in your mission.
A healthy corporate culture can empower employees and lead to them becoming more effective in their role. Employers can foster this healthy approach to organizational culture by showing appreciation, keeping communication fluid, offering growth opportunities, and having a flexible approach to change.
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