An often unrecognized ingredient for small business success that doesn’t require spending too much working capital is the company’s culture. A good company culture can perk up office morale, leading to happier employees who are more excited to be part of the culture and therefore more productive. As Forbes noted, strict standards of accountability can set a cultural expectation of winning to help keep morale high.
A survey conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs-Randstad, a global independent market research company, found 66 percent of working adults think company culture is very or extremely important to their business’ success. This includes 29 percent who think company culture is extremely important. This means maintaining a positive and healthy company culture is not only something that corporate boards discuss behind closed doors, but also a conscious part of employees’ day-to-day thoughts and activities.
However, many business owners mistake company culture for office morale. Whereas culture is more like the company’s Operating System, performing the same routine tasks over and over, office morale stems from the specific company culture your office emphasizes. Based on your executive decision-making process, the company culture trickles down from your philosophy and values to the rest of the employees. And since every company has different standards for promoting their office culture, it’s important to establish your company’s own priorities and values and then pass those along to your employees.
For instance, employees going out for happy hour after work or joining a softball league is not part of the company culture, rather it is due to good morale, which is a byproduct of a particular type of company culture. The reason employees want to spend time together outside of work at social gatherings is due to the values the business owner decided to focus on in the company culture. In this case, the company culture could value team-building or social support for employees, which in turn translates to higher morale and time spent outside of the office.
Here are five tips for improving office morale through values established by the company culture:
- Take time to celebrate
Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary or even a major sale, take time to celebrate the moments that people need to cherish. Little victories like these might seem like a minor blip in the company’s grand scheme, but they mean a lot to the individuals who experience them. This goes a long in way toward treating employees like people rather than.
- Encourage breaks
Another way to treat employees like people instead of hired labor is to remind workers to take a break. Not only does this show you care about their stress levels and general well-being, but breaks give workers a chance to recharge depleted batteries and replenish spent ideas.
- Enhance your employees
No, this doesn’t mean to outfit them with the latest in technological gadgets and devices (at least not yet), it means providing moral leadership by enhancing their purpose and pride in their work. Although some business owners might think so, it is not enough to simply pay employees and expect them to be passionate about their role in the company. Coach your workers and give them the guidance and direction they need to become pivotal members of the team.
- Support your workers
Even though you’re technically already supporting your workers when you sign their paychecks, sometimes employees need more than financial assistance. Showing you care and support their activities and associations outside the office encourages employees to exert more effort to support the company.
- Talk with employees
Encourage an open dialogue between you and your employees and ensure they know you will listen to their ideas. Keep your workers informed of what is happening in the business so when a problem arises, they can also contribute to the solution.