Four ways to help you achieve a productive company culture(1) Be transparent. Properly transparent Trust and transparency come hand in hand. That’s why regular one-to-one catch-ups are set in place between managers and employees. The challenge is that catch-ups risk turning into a box-ticking task rather than a transparency exercise. Often leaders are afraid of being properly open due to fear of being viewed as less authoritative. As though their credentials, which they’ve worked hard to attain, will lose power. But proper transparency can lead to the absolute opposite effect. People want to relate to their leaders. They want to know they have experienced similar problems to them and/or how they have overcome them. At Perkbox we encourage a “zero fear” attitude precisely for that reason. Try it, fail if you have to and learn from the lesson. Then try it once again, because we believe in you. Both Saurav Chopra (also co-founder of the company) and I have learnt from our own biggest failures and we want to encourage others to do the same. (2) Find a purpose. A meaningful one Yes, you might have got the hint from above, creating an emotional attachment can work wonders. A good employer brand is one that makes its employees feel emotionally attached to the business rather than just seeing it as a job.
Tony Gale, HR solutions expert at Access Group, shares thoughts on how SMEs can learn from corporate giants to develop an employer brand of their own.
If companies can connect to individuals they can align more closely to their life goals. The more human you make your business’ sense of purpose, the more your employees will see this as a meaningful relationship instead of a transactional one. This will in turn, help your company focus on all other efforts – financial, cultural, wellbeing. It also means employees have a clear idea of how they want the company to be perceived. It encourages collaboration between departments as they see clear goals to work towards and find ways to achieve them together. A purpose is not just a motivational tool, it’s also a great management tool – and a great way to make staff feel loved. A sense of purpose also helps brands thrive even in times of uncertainty. You’re showing your employees that both you and them are in there for more than just surviving the circumstances currently being facing. (3) Bond and let bond As well as boosting productivity and performance, frequent interaction amongst teams and individual employees works to strengthen relationships and align efforts. Use platforms that make peer-to-peer recognition available to the whole team, so everyone can share the love – the rewards could be issued for anything from successful tea runs to project milestones. Organise events and team outings every once in a while – those that don’t interact with each other will get to know themselves better. It doesn’t have to be complicated. We often go down to the pub on a Wednesday or Thursday. That simple. You don’t have to be buddy-buddy with everyone in the office, but if you establish a relationship and communicate effectively with the people who you work with, you’ll foster that sense of appreciation that makes motivation and inspiration spark. (4) Catch up with remote workers Ever heard of the phrase, “out of sight, out of mind?” That’s how remote employees feel whilst at work. With remote working is more prevalent than ever, it’s important to ensure we realise this and make staff feel loved and included in important conversations and culture-building activities. How do we go about achieving this? One way is to invest in a tools that will make staff feel loved and connected: Skype for Business, Workplace by Facebook, Slack, and don’t forget though you need to actually use them! Commit to getting them to headquarters at least once a year. Make the trip worthwhile from a business goal and company bonding perspective. By the same token, visit remote offices regularly yourself too. Speaking from personal experience, happy and engaged employees perform better and stick around for longer. It sometimes takes as little as showing your human side to your staff as a manager, to make your employees feel loved. Trust me, it will drive better results to your business, but also – and personally I think more rewarding – it will make you feel great as a human being. Try it! Chieu Cao is co-founder and CMO of Perkbox
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