Work culture
Jun 2, 2016 — TrackFive

How to Create a Work Culture to Foster Innovation

I know, I know. Yet another blog post about creating a positive work environment. Before you roll your eyes and close your browser tab, try and learn how you can actually help your business. Developing a positive and productive work culture isn’t just fluff, and it’s not just to cater to us millennials.

Most people already know that a strong work culture is major to business innovation, value, and success. A strong product or service is also (obviously) important and valuable, but work culture leads to the innovations that spur business growth.

When you build a great place to work, you are able to attract and keep employees. The process to replace an employee after they leave is expensive and time-consuming. The best companies will have low voluntary turnover rates. By building a great culture, you make the workplace somewhere employees want to work. This will create an environment where employees don’t want to leave.

How to Create a Better Work Culture

Employees that like their office culture are happier, more productive workers. Happy, productive workers are proud of the work they do, trust their team, and ultimately, help strengthen your brand. This shortlist will help you build your case to create a better work culture.

Be Flexible

Flexibility is the key to creating a positive culture. A significant number of employees have high levels of conflict between their work and personal life. Companies can do this in any number of ways like allowing employees to have flexible working hours, freeing them from the traditional 9-5. Or they can give employees options to work remotely. The important thing to remember is to be flexible with your employee’s personal lives.

“A trusted hardworking employee should be able to schedule their day like a CEO. Why should they cram every one of life’s inconveniences — [like] oil changes, etc. — into a brief period of time before or after work?”
-Ashley Judge

Ashley Judge, president of The Funtrepreneur, says, “I encourage my employees to schedule their personal lives the way a CEO does.” She continues, “Unless it conflicted with a meeting, I wouldn’t think twice about scheduling a mid-day doctor’s appointment or more trivial personal appointment, such as a haircut, and I encourage them to do the same.”

Foster Communication and Collaboration

If you don’t already have one, embrace an ‘open door’ policy to allow for an open flow of communication between coworkers. Remain transparent in your communication. Open communication helps your employees create closer working relationships and build trust. That trust is what will allow workers to all operate as different spokes of the same wheel.

In this modern world of technology, it can be hard to remember how valuable face time is. When you meet face-to-face with your employees, it makes them feel important. Employees need face time and they need feedback from time to time.

Co-founder and marketing director of Four Mine, Slisha Kankariya believes “whether your office is cabins, cubicles or open-concept, be sure to have small and large spaces that employees can collaborate in. This will spark team creativity and camaraderie and indirectly encourage people to be more invested in their work and their colleagues.”

By promoting culture with open communication, you improve your employees’ happiness and productivity.

Recognize Success

If your employee was doing something wrong, you would tell, so if they are doing everything right, you should also tell them! Especially if you are employing millennials who make up a large part of the workforce. When you thank your employees for a job well done, it builds confidence and motivates them to do even better.

Recognizing your employees can be as simple saying thank you, or include cash or a gift certificate. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture or a big deal, but when you give recognition, it goes a long way.

Offer Opportunities for Development

When you first hire an employee, it is critical to train them properly for their greatest chance at success. But even when your employees ‘know everything’, you should still be offering opportunities for growth. If employees are bored with their job or feel that there is no room to grow in a company, they will leave.

When you invest in your employees, they feel valued and like an important part of the company. They will develop a sense of purpose and pride for what they do, and enjoy doing it.

Help provide them with opportunities or experiences that include continued education and training or develop a mentorship program. Allow your employees to attend seminars and conferences where they can pick more skills, or hone in on their craft. Ideally, when your employees learn new skills, your business can provide better products or services, promoting growth.

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