How to Creatively Cultivate a Company Culture
Establish Your Identity
A meaningful mission statement will go a long way in helping your employees and customers understand your business. You may have a statement that you developed at the inception of your business. However, many companies realize the need for a mission statement as they get beyond the initial bootstrapping phase. They need something that helps shape the company as it moves forward. If you have not developed a statement, work with your employees to craft one.
Your mission statement will help new employees understand your expectations and ethics. It will help them see how your business is connected to the larger community. Your statement will also give them an understanding of the sort of culture that you hope to cultivate.
It is important to remember that a mission is only meaningful if it is lived out. Otherwise, people will learn quickly that these are just words on a page. A company that claims to be concerned about the local community needs to be involved with local issues. A company that claims to promote creativity needs to be open to new ideas.
The social atmosphere at your office is also part of establishing your company culture. Many workplaces find that periodic breaks in the day actually makes people more productive. When appropriate, take the time to celebrate birthdays, successful projects, new clients and other special events. You might consider having more involved parties at the office as well. These will often be more social events that happen outside regular work hours. Employees get the opportunity to decorate the workspace in a festive way.
One popular option is having a potluck lunch. If you want to include families, you could close the office for the day and try something like a carnival-themed party with carnival games. In the warmer weather, an office picnic is also a fun way to promote social connections among your employees.
People love the opportunity to see each other in a more casual setting. They can meet without an agenda and enjoy each other’s company. These types of bonding opportunities will create closer connections when everyone is back at work.
In recent years, many businesses have been encouraging a culture of cooperation over competition. Group workshops are a common way to promote teamwork. When people work together to solve problems outside of the office, they will get a better sense of one another’s gifts and abilities. They will learn who is good at planning, creative-thinking and communicating. With that knowledge, they will work together more effectively for your company. Group-building often happens best outside of the workplace, although you can do some shorter exercises during the workday. You can divide the time of your company retreat to include time for group building as well as planning and brainstorming. You will come to realize that the two types of events build on each other. When team members trust each other, they are more willing to share creative ideas.
A positive company culture does not happen by accident. It must be cultivated over time through intentional decisions from leaders. When you develop the desired culture, it will have many positive effects on your employees. Your clients will notice that positivity, and it will improve your reputation. By developing your company culture, you are enhancing your brand and helping your business.
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