Having a company culture is like saying: we’re one big, happy family striving to achieve a common goal. Whether this extended family favors positive attributes like teamwork and friendly competition over discord and uneasiness is up for debate in each individual case. Just keep in mind that the work environment is a sensible device and pulling many triggers can make it fall apart very easy.
In this article, we are going to discuss about company culture and how a positive company culture can influence productivity and creativity. We are also going to show some tricks which will help you create a friendly working environment, capable of attracting creative employees.
What’s a Company Culture?
In some regards, a company is, more or less, like a small town, governed by its own rules, beliefs, and credos. The all-knowing Wikipedia states that an organizational culture goes well beyond people and the offices they are working in.
It’s a complex concept which encompasses both social and behavioral aspects. A fantastic company culture gives its members a sense of affiliation, of social and professional validation. Man always required some sort of means to prove himself, and such an environment is the best way to play his role.
Many major companies understand the importance of having a robust organizational culture and have always sought ways to make improvements in this regard. For example, Zappos has introduced the so-called cultural fit interview. This means that the company offers a sum of money to new employees and asks them to quit after the first week if the job doesn’t suit their requirements.
Warby Parker places great emphasis on the employee’s satisfaction. Thus, the company often uses free lunches and fun activities to stimulate their employees.
Tips on How to Build a Company Culture
Before we get started on the list, we should squeeze in a few words about the golden rule of promoting a positive company culture. Familiarize yourself with the basics of human psychology. Try asking questions like:
– “Why do we need to work?
– “What is creativity?”
– “How can you stimulate creativity?”
– “What can you do to improve the work environment?”
Without further ado, here are out top choices in company culture improvement.
1. Get to know a bit about creativity and its underlying mental processes
Creativity is a frame of mind that allows us to forge various content. Whether you are a writer or a software engineer, you’ll need something to get those wheels turning. The process is different for each person. Get to know the specifics of each task, to see how you can jumpstart that little brainstorming process.
If you have some job openings that require creative writing, it would be a good idea to supply your employees with a couple of materials on how to write like a pro.
Another aspect related to creativity is inspiration. There’s no easy way to define inspiration. One might say that it is an ensemble of sensorial cues that are capable of stimulating creativity.
There are many tricks you could try to induce inspiration, and we will show you a couple of them in a moment.
2. Tinker with the environment
Nobody likes working in a cubicle or in a hospital-white room. Cubicles and rooms lacking decorations can give your employee a sense of alienation and even induce job anxiety. Try to brighten up the work area.
You can lay a fresh coat of paint on the walls, and it doesn’t have to be white. For example, some psychological studies have demonstrated that employees working in an office painted in green are more productive and happier than others working in hospital-white offices.
Add some more details to the room. Buy some plants, add a beautiful wallpaper or maybe a couple of pictures with inspirational quotes. You’ll be surprised to see how a few changes can improve creativity.
There are other tricks you could try to get the inspiration wheels going. Just remember: try and act all natural. Don’t let the employees feel like you force these things upon them.
Another great idea for improving the environment is to adopt a “bring a pet to work” policy. House pets are known to have a therapeutic effect on their owners. Bringing a dog or a cat to work will significantly reduce the level of stress of your employees.
Just make sure to create a couple of no-pets work areas for your staff suffering from animal allergies.
3. Offer flexible work hours
It has been proven that some individuals function better in the afternoon, or at night, than early in the morning. Moreover, it is also known that nighttime can work wonders on the creativity process. Specialists from Essayontime have found that the standard 9 to 5 workday affects the creativity of writers. According to them, flexible hours give night owls, as well as early birds, the freedom to better organize their personal lives and deliver higher quality work.
Take your time and talk a little with your employees about their schedule. Offer them the possibility of choosing their work schedule. Also, bear in mind that companies which offer flexible work hours are more sought out by creative millennials than companies with a standardized schedule.
4. Diversify your team
Don’t look for a particular pattern when putting together a new team. Sometimes, diversity is the key to absolute success. Try and figure out what a team needs and search for someone who is capable of filling a particular position.
It’s imperative to remember that each team member has certain strengths and weakness. The trick to making them work together is to integrate their strengths and to overcome their minuses.
Moreover, it’s a good idea to keep up to date with the latest techniques in team building.
5. Establish boundaries
A list of dos and don’ts is always a good idea to have around. Before teaching him or her about the specifics of the job, take a few minutes to establish some ground rules. Only point out the company’s values, what it rewards and what it condemns.
Try not to make it sound like you’re delivering a lecture to a bunch of kindergarteners. Give them a chance to speak their mind every time they have something to say, but point out that there are some rules out there that they must abide.
Also, you could speak a little about distractions. Past-time activities like reading a funny post or watching a cat video on YouTube might help your employees deal with stress and increase their creativity.
However, do remember to point out that there is also a limit. For business owners, it’s very important to know what type of work behavior is considered abusive and must be sanctioned, and what’s considered OK.
So there you have it: the five most popular tips on how to improve your company’s culture. Keeping these pieces of advice in mind will help your business attract more creative individuals and will increase your overall productivity.