As we look forward to Heritage Day on 24 September, there’s no better time to consider workplace culture, despite all the ups and downs people and businesses have endured over the last year and a half.
From a worldwide pandemic enforcing social distancing, to the acceleration of remote work and digital transformation, the workplace of the future looks a lot different than it did in 2019.
Whether your business is made up of 15 people or 50 people, workplace culture is vital, particularly in a time where physical office spaces may not be an option and employees (new and old) are working in isolation.
So if you’re ready to improve your workplace culture, or need to build one from the ground up, here are a few tips to help your team feel their best, remote work or not.
Form a culture club
As trivial as it might seem, having a group of employees dedicated to boosting company culture and morale goes a long way. People naturally have the desire to feel appreciated and recognised as a valued member of the team, and you as an individual probably don’t have time to organise quarterly team building events, meetups, employee of the month or individual check ins.
Choosing understanding, empathetic and organised team members to organise these types of activities on a regular basis will encourage a sense of belonging, and give employees a channel to discuss things they may not be entirely comfortable chatting to you as the boss.
Processes might be in place, but small details can always change. Whether it’s bonuses, leave structure, promotions or team events, if a change happens along the way, keep your team informed throughout the process where necessary.
The last thing an employee wants to find out is that their bonus is much smaller than expected, on the day it gets paid out for example. This leads to lack of trust in management and in the business as a whole. If changes occur that will affect the end result, check in with your team as and when it happens, to avoid any confusion or unhappiness.
Create a space that encourages differences
There isn’t necessarily one actionable point for creating a space that encourages differences. Creating this type of space involves a mindset that understands that people come from different backgrounds and different opinions. This way of thinking allows different trains of thought to work together towards success.
From company training, to open team conversations, get your employees into thinking of diversity as a strength. Firstly, once they see that different minds can work together towards one main goal, they’ll see the benefit. This doesn’t mean that after one conversation, everyone will be on the same track, but it’s worthwhile getting the conversations going.
Secondly, you need to understand the diversity in your team’s cultures. As we’re close to celebrating Heritage Day, consider whether your workplace culture is inclusive of all the different individuals within it. If for example, a few of your team members identify with the Muslim faith, do you give them the time on a Friday for prayer? Diversity comes in many forms, and understanding these differences will make your team feel included and understood.
Recognition comes in many shapes and forms, and there’s no one size fits all. But what is for sure, is that giving it improves morale, engagement and general workplace attitude. From small weekly rewards such as team shout outs in the weekly catch up, to free Friday lunches, and monthly or quarterly rewards of bonuses or shopping spoils, there are a number of ways to recognise the contribution that your team is making to the success of your business.
If you aren’t sure where to start or how to go about it, consider sending out an anonymous form to everyone where they can share their thoughts and feedback on how they would appreciate being rewarded. You may not take on every suggestion, but it’s a valuable way to connect with your team.
You can then share this recognition with your clients and customers. It’s never a bad thing for the outside world to see how happy your staff are. If anything they’ll be more likely to trust and respect your brand for how you consider your team. If you have or are creating a website, consider adding a section to showcase your work family.
In summary, there are a few simple ways to build an inclusive workplace culture:
- Put together a culture club
- Keep communication channels open
- Create a space that celebrates differences
- Give recognition when it’s due