Your corporate culture is the heart of your company, and while your brand image may help to influence and shape your culture, making sure that this is always productive is essential to success. Whether you’re a large corporation with years of heritage or a small and laid-back start-up, every business can create a productive corporate culture with the right practices in place.
Why create a productive corporate culture?
Creating a productive corporate culture usually requires focusing heavily on the psychological and social well-being of all your employees, from communication to friendships. Doing this often results in happy employees that take less sick days and are less likely to leave completely. One bi-product and a key advantage of productivity, therefore, is minimising wasted costs associated with sickness and staff turnover.
Aside from being kinder to your business costs, a productive corporate culture is likely to make you more money as well. Productive employees produce better quality work, work efficiently to meet deadlines and proactively find better and more efficient ways to work for the future. All of that means your customers are going to be happy, and happy customers make for a happy bottom line.
Best practices to create a productive corporate culture
Productivity requires motivated employees with individuals, small teams and the whole company working well together. These best practices are all designed to get the most out of your employees and foster genuine team spirit in the workplace.
Start with the foundations
The foundations of your teams and workplace are the employees themselves, so start from the beginning and be smart when its time to hire someone new. The interview process here is key and is the perfect opportunity for you to identify people that are natural team players. By hiring employees that strike the right balance between a leader and a team member, and with the qualities that you think work best within your current culture and brand image, you can ensure that you have the right building blocks to create a productive environment. Great new hires will even bring additional ideas to the table to help build morale, team spirit and improve your culture.
Avoid creating a ‘blame game’ situation with people pointing fingers or afraid to make decisions in case they get held accountable, but you do need to make sure every employee is assigned responsibility. Make sure that their responsibilities are defined and clear to both the employee, team members and management. When in used in combination with all these best practices, giving employees a clear sense of responsibility will ensure they always have a goal to work towards which is essential when it comes to staying productive.
Communication is key. Without it, all these best practices can easily become misunderstood or misinterpreted and are likely to backfire. Effective communication is at the core of good team work and productivity, ensuring that the right work is done within the right time frames. You should therefore make sure that communication is as open and honest as it can be between individuals, team members, management and the company as a whole.
To do this you might want to consider your methods of communication including phone, email, messaging apps, conference or video calls, project management software and in-person meetings. Are there enough communication tools available, does everyone have access and are they aware of them, and are they suitable for the current size and needs of the business? If necessary, look at investing in more or better communication methods, and make sure you promote their usage throughout the company.
Continue to revaluate your communications regularly as new technology and software is always available. You should also keep the floor open to ideas from employees about the way the business communicates to make sure they everyone feels they have enough opportunities and direct channels to the relevant people.
Avoid all work and no play
A good life and work balance makes for happy employees, and happy employees are much more motivated and productive. Instead of looking to squeeze out as much work as possible, make sure your employees have enough breaks during the day and vacation time throughout the year. Contrary to what you might think, giving people time to relax and unwind has been proven to have far more productive results. Work is of a better quality and done efficiently, rather than employees dragging themselves through project after project and struggling to focus.
On the flip side, this also means that employees are less likely to get burnt out. In today’s busy world employees are increasingly becoming stressed and burnt out from long hours and harsher work demands. This can result in more sick days and even higher staff turnover, both of which is bad for morale as well as being costly to the business.
Build morale with praise
Identify and reward hard workers regularly and make sure you take every opportunity to recognise excellent work. Even simply praising work verbally can enormous impact on employee morale and productivity, while more tangible rewards can be even more motivating. Make sure you avoid nurturing an overly competitive work environment, however, by trying to keep rewards team based and relaxed. Small prizes and team trips will work wonders for morale and they’re much easier and generally cheaper than grandiose cash rewards to individuals.
Talking about team trips, don’t forget to treat your employees sometimes just for the sake of it. Depending on the size of your business this may work best either in small teams or the whole business, although events like the tradition Christmas work party should always include the whole business.
Team trips during the year can and should include a mix of activities. From volunteering in the local community which can crucial to your brand image and local PR efforts, to parties and nights out just for fun. These occasions are all important in helping employees form genuine friendships and bond as a team which will in turn help to improve their work life balance and foster real motivation and morale in the workplace.
Create a productive corporate culture today
All these best practices will usually take some time as well as some trial and error to get right and start working, but you could consider corporate clothing for a more instant productivity booster. Depending on your business corporate clothing can be a great way to unit employees, foster team spirit and increase productivity. Typically used in the hospitality industry, corporate wear can be a viable alternative for pretty much any business in any industry.
Branded corporate apparel is often seen has a more casual wardrobe alternative by employees and can be good for morale simply for being a laid-back uniform solution. It also helps blur the lines between management and other employees which can be crucial to fast-tracking excellent communication, especially if you already have a hierarchal communication problem in the business. Additionally, employees will likely identify more strongly with the values, mission and goals of the company when all dressed similarly, which will encourage them to feel more accountable for upholding those principles.