Running a business means that you depend a lot on your employees. They are, after all, the only thing that makes your business go around – and even though they work for you, you should try to do everything in your power to make them thrive.
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This is where the culture in your office comes in and, unless you take control of it and try to steer it in the right direction, your company could start to go downhill. At least a lot more downhill than it would have done otherwise.
Start by looking at this handful of ways to ensure a healthy office culture in your company so that it is able to grow and thrive as it should. It may require a bit of extra work from your side but, in the end, you’ll notice of much of a difference it is making to both your employees and your company as a whole.
Start by rewarding hard work
Some business owners, however good they may be in other areas, seem to believe that excellent work is only to be expected – and not to be rewarded. Needless to say, this is not going to boost the morale of your office and you’re likely to end up with a team that only does the bare minimum rather than pushing themselves to perform.
You may think that it’s enough to point out the one employee who puts in a bit more effort than the others, though, but this isn’t really the best way to boost a healthy teamwork morale.
Allow them to bond together as a team and make it clear that they’re steering this ship together; if they don’t work well together, their projects simply won’t be as successful as they could have been.
Luckily, there are a lot of fun ways to reward the hard work your team is doing – and way more options now that you’re going to reward them as a team. Consider taking them out for lunch, for example, or treat them to a team-building experience.
Teams that have fun together will start to like each other more and, of course, teams that enjoy each other’s company tend to enjoy showing up for work a bit more as well. Encourage them to get to know each other outside of the office, make a habit out of treating them to team-building experiences after the completion of a difficult project, and make it clear that you’re all in this together.
If you start to reward individual employees for their hard work, you may end up seeing competition among them in the office. Some business owners may see this as a good thing, though, and sure, competition means that they work harder – but it won’t do any good for the culture in your office.
In the long run, you want employees who enjoy showing up for work and who feels like they’re a part of something bigger where they have found their own place.
Embrace the role as a leader
Now, we need to discuss your role in all of this. As a business owner or a manager, it is clear that your employees will look to you in terms of steering the team in the right direction. In other words, you need to be in charge if you want to see a change in the office so that the rest of the team can follow your lead.
This applies to anything you’d like to see; from becoming slightly greener and reducing the amount of paper you’re using, to improving efficiency and boosting the office culture. When you want your employees to get to know each other and be friendly, the best way to do this is, of course, to start by getting to know your own employees.
Take the initiative to chat to some of them while they hang around the coffee machine, surprise them with a slice of cake with their coffee on a random Friday, and go out of your way to be there for them on a personal level as well.
This will do wonders for how they see you as a leader as well as the kind of culture you’re building within the office; the best kind of leaders are usually seen as likeable, friendly, and eager to help out their employees. The busy kind of boss who doesn’t have time for small talk is a thing of the past – and certainly not the right way to do things when you want the culture in your office to change for the better.
Give them responsibility
Now that you know how to treat your team as a whole as well as how to put your best foot forward as their trusted leader, it’s time to see if you can make a few of them shine as individuals as well. After all, they are individual people and may respond differently to various scenarios.
One of the best ways to ensure that your team is heading in the right direction is to give them a bit more responsibility. You can do this on multiple levels, though, and making sure that they all have a sense of control of their own day-to-day lives is a great place to start.
Options for flexible hours, for example, and the chance to work from home from time to time can seriously boost their morale. This shows that you appreciate that they have a personal life as well and that they may work to live rather than live to work – plus, since you’ve been going out of your way to get to know them, you may know by now who needs that remote work a bit more than others as well.
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Giving them control of their day can happen on smaller levels as well, though, such as through the Sling Employee Time Clock. With this tool, they can simply track their own hours and tick both in and out with their own phone. It’s such a simple way to give them a sense of control – and a great way for you, as their leaders, to save both time and money.
Another point to giving your team a bit more responsibility is to point out a leader when you’re learning something new. If you want your team to focus more on cyber security, for example, it’s a good idea to point out someone who knows a bit more about this than others. They will be able to keep the rest of the team on track as it’s usually easier to learn from a peer rather than having a manager hawking over them – and the employee you’ve pointed out will certainly feel a lot more important.
Think about how you can do this when you want to improve the office culture as well. Depending on the size of your company, you may already have a team leader for the different teams – or you may have just one team of which you are in charge.
If you belong to the latter group, it’s a good idea to point out a team leader nonetheless who can help you out with planning some fun events and be in charge of getting that cake on the table when you want to surprise them on a Friday afternoon. They will be your right hand, so to speak, and can have a massive impact on the culture in your office.
Leading a team is certainly no easy job and you should accept all the help you can get. It will have a lot to say about the success of your business, after all, as well as the kind of employees you’re able to attract in the future.