How Local Businesses Can Inspire Productivity Through Company Culture
When it comes to success in business, productivity is everything. Management needs to find a way to keep their teams happy and engaged day after day. While there are many ways you can offer rewards to get a temporary boost in productivity, if you really want to improve your company and help your team to be more active every day, then the answer is in your company’s culture.
Let’s talk about the importance of culture and some steps you can take today to improve the environment at your company.
Your Team Needs to Know They Matter
One way businesses can promote positive culture is by allowing plenty of chances for collaboration and open communication. Employees want to know they can be part of the conversation when it comes to important company topics. They also want to know they can go to management or human resources at any time and express their concerns and know they are heard.
In the case of SHAZAM, a nonprofit financial services provider with roots in Greater Des Moines (DSM), the organization put together a team representing every part of the company. They identified culture pillars and conducted surveys based on these pillars. With a 92% response rate, they were able to identify employees’ over-arching concerns and implement changes. For example, they installed vending machines with healthy options and low prices.
Another example is ARAG, a legal insurance company headquartered in Downtown DSM. Through peer reviews and focus groups that included 60 employees, ARAG identified a new set of values. Now team members can take advantage of professional development opportunities by going back college or traveling for training. ARAG also hosts ARAG Days to keep its hybrid workforce engaged through activities such as cornhole tournaments or catering lunch for a Black-owned local business as part of Black History Month.
When employees are encouraged to communicate, they can also feel safer at work and reduce human errors during their workday. Think about it. If your team can go to management with all safety concerns and know they will be resolved, they can worry less about dangers and focus more on their job, and they will inevitably be more productive.
Help Your Employees Bond as a Team
As you think about improving your company culture, remember it is more than just telling your employees they are important and they can discuss their concerns. You can also help your team bond and work as a cohesive unit by hosting team activities.
A great way to help your team bond is to get them out of the office and prepare a fun outdoor adventure. Try a trip to the park or a hiking expedition on the weekend. There are many great hiking locations in Des Moines, including Brown’s Woods Forest Preserve and Ewing Park, among others. While you are there, the team can hike to a predetermined spot, and once they get there together, they will know they did it as a team. By allowing the team to spend time outside of an office environment, you can help them see each other as authentic individuals, and they will be more inclined to help one another when they get back to work in the office.
If your company employs a remote workforce, you can still promote a positive company culture. While your team may not always be in the same office, management can host team-building exercises over a video platform like Zoom. Have a couple of meetings per week or host a gathering on Friday where the team can talk about their weekends and bond virtually.
Play games such as virtual murder mystery, Scattergories, or team-building bingo. Host ice-breaker gatherings where team members are prompted to share interesting or funny facts about themselves. Give employees the opportunity to do a virtual escape room that requires teamwork to get out of.
Recognize + Promote
A surefire way that management can improve company culture and inspire productivity is to recognize your teams for their accomplishments and help them rise within the company.
Some form of recognition will do wonders for your employee’s happiness and drive to succeed. By sending out an email or verbally recognizing a staff member during a team meeting, you will make them feel appreciated, and they will want to continue to impress. Or you could go above and beyond like Blue Compass and unfurl employee-recognition banners from the rooftop.
It is also important that management gives each employee a path to success and promotion so they will want to work harder to reach that point. Tell them each step they can take to achieve the next level of their career and then follow through on the promotion once they have met the requirements.
Like ARAG, give your employees opportunities to grow within the company and offer professional development that will help them do so. Or, like Holmes Murphy, you could initiate a hiring pause to show employees you care for them and instead, hire from within. Or, like Bankers Trust, you could take an employee engagement survey and prioritize career development opportunities for your employees. Showing appreciation through these avenues is a surefire way to improve company culture.
As you can see, there are ways you can improve your team and inspire productivity within your organization. Consider these tips, and your small business can succeed and grow.
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Sam Bowman writes about people, tech, wellness and how they merge. He enjoys getting to utilize the internet for community without actually having to leave his house. In his spare time he likes running, reading and combining the two in a run to his local bookstore.