The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
No one wants to work in a sea of cubicles where you can hear a pin drop. If your corporate culture feels stiff or contrived and you’re in a position to change it, consider offering unique job perks to help foster team spirit and make employees feel connected to the workplace and each other. Building a work culture doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive—just remember to be flexible and show your appreciation. We have some ideas to get you started:
Create a Flexible Work Schedule
One in four employees is stressed out over conflicts between work and family life, according to Inc. So, one way that small businesses can improve their quality of life is by offering a flexible or remote work schedule.
The 9-to-5 grind doesn’t work for everyone. People have kids, side projects and life in general that may make traditional business hours more difficult. Sure, you want your employees to work hard, but you don’t need them to sit next to them to ensure this is occurring.
Web video conferencing, smartphones and other technology make it possible for employees to stay connected to the office without being bound to a desk. Furthermore, offering the incentive of working remotely, at least sometimes, is shown to make employees highly productive, according to Jennifer Lumba of Incentive magazine.
Offer Cash and Rewards
Everyone wants to make more money, and those who exceed expectations should be rewarded.
Reward high performing employees with a little extra perk such as a bonus, gift card or extra day off after a key sale or big success in the office. If you can afford it, try a pricier perk for monumental achievements or end-of-the-year awards like football tickets, lavish gift baskets or even the latest smartphone or tech gadget that they can use at work and home.
If you are operating on a tighter budget, recognize employees with smaller rewards. For example, sincere thank you notes are arguably the most thoughtful way to recognize employee achievements. Forbes magazine also lists pizza parties or longer group lunches as a way to build morale.
Use Social Recognition
Don’t hesitate to send employees information about company benefits, get-togethers, and appreciation via social media. Facebook, Twitter and similar sites provide positive ways for your company to remain connected. Jennifer Benz of Benz Communications says that creating Facebook groups around specific efforts connect individuals around interests and activities, which enhances the culture of the workplace.
You also can use social media to recognize employees’ good work and announce employees of the month or year. There are even corporate social networks and software systems such as Kudos that are only used to recognize employee achievement. This lets everyone know what is expected, how to go above and beyond and that their hard work is being noticed.
Overall, you can improve your company culture by recognizing your staff’s hard work and successes, and even join in with them when they are having fun.
About the Author
Michael Ferraresi is a Phoenix-based. He worked as a reporter for The Arizona Republic and www.azcentral.com, the leading news organization in the state, for several years before moving on to work primarily in higher education.