We all want our workplaces to be productive. The best way to guarantee that is to have a great culture to support the work. Here are 4 tips to help you get there:
1 - Hire for Attitude
It can be very tempting to employ the most qualified candidate in terms of direct experience and not necessarily the candidate who will have the best cultural fit. But, rest assured, one bad hire can have a significant detrimental impact on your entire team – and not just their morale, but their productivity and motivation – which , ultimately is an issue for your bottom line.
My personal belief is that you hire for fit first. Remember that employees can always be taught skills and procedures, but personalities are nearly impossible to alter.
2 - Create an Enjoyable Atmosphere
You don’t need to be the next Google (e.g., slides, hammocks, and a host of other cool but expensive things) and many of us think that’s a little weird. Small gestures can make a big difference.
We all respond to our environment. If your environment is drab and depressing, your employees will reflect that. Brighten up the space, bring in fresh flowers, put up some art work that brings joy. Having young children, I know how bad things are when people are “hangry.” A box of granola bars or a random assortment of chip snack bags can go a long way when people have the munchies. You are spending 40 hours a week together, make them pleasant.
3 - Empower Your Employees
Having processes and procedures in place is a must, but sometimes it’s also a good idea to give your employees a chance to use their initiative.
Trusting an employee to make decisions can be a big leap of faith, but it also makes that employee feel empowered and own their work. Of course, their day-to-day authority needs to be limited to areas within their remit, but when you think big picture, invite your entire team to contribute ideas. I recently listened to a talk by another law firm owner about how he saved thousands of hours a year on producing documents because he asked everyone for ideas … and the receptionist had a great one.
4 - Surprise Your Employees
The great thing about surprises is that they’re unexpected, by definition. Even the smallest unexpected gesture can be the thoughtful. Whether it’s a pizza lunch called in, coffee and bagels in the morning, an unexpected afternoon off, a gift card to a favorite store … think about the small things you can do to show your staff they are appreciated.
Bonus Tip – Don’t Be a Jerk To Work For
Study after study has proven – people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. If you come to work stressed, angry, and unfriendly, your team will reflect that. If you lash out on employees who are trying their hardest to do a good job, your team won’t trust you. If you never acknowledge your staff’s hard work and reward it (in any fashion), then they will stop giving their all.
Be the boss you wish you had before you went out on your own. Be worth people dedicating their time and efforts to your company’s success.
Creating a fun company culture doesn’t need to break the bank. There are many small things you can do to help maintain and even improve morale and the overall productivity of your team. And, remember, the small things you do for your team can have a major impact on your bottom line.