Creating an Award Winning Work Culture
Having recently celebrated the wins of our Best Companies Day announcement, our team thought it would be worthwhile to look back on some of the changes we have seen, implemented, and intend to bring into our unique work culture.
We were lucky enough to receive a three-star accreditation and, with it, be included in the ranks of other excellent brands in the categories of Top 100 Best Small Business to Work For, Top 10 Recruitment Companies in the UK, and London's Top 10 Best Small Companies to Work For. However, this was mainly due to the changes and feedback we have received in the past several years. With that being said, here are a few ways we managed to create a work culture worth shouting about.
Don't Just Listen to Your Team, Act!
Yes, it is essential to foster an environment where your team feels comfortable to express themselves. This means providing feedback and opinions on day-to-day operations and processes. Letting your team's ideas be heard can also often ease conflicts and even streamline specific approaches. It's no wonder then that tech giants like Google and WordPress often hold weekly or monthly team meetings to exchange ideas on improving management. This is important as it increases trust and team engagement and highly engaged business units achieve 59% less turnover. Moreover, 75% of employees, when asked for a public survey, said they would stay longer at an organisation that listens to and addresses their concerns.
However, this is only part of the solution. Hearing what your team has to say has no real impact unless you implement changes. We have seen this first hand. When COVID-19 was at its peak, we needed to ensure that we were doing all we could to continue supporting our team. That's why we offered a way for our team to provide feedback and have an avenue to help streamline our operations. We have continued this with what we call Stop, Start, Carry On. It is a regularly scheduled period where we ask our entire team what they would like to see stop, start, or carry on within the business. We assure that everyone is listening, including our CEO and Shareholders.
Since then we have implemented
- Wellbeing Wednesdays: This is meant to ensure we have open channels for our team to discuss their mental health and wellbeing.
- Women in Recruitment: Promoting diversity and inclusion is important to us and that's why we are partnering with Women in Recruitment to promote more women entering the recruitment sector.
- Early Finish on Fridays: We have early finishes every Friday for our team and often have mini-meetings before the end of the day to celebrate our efforts and wins.
- Gym Lunches: This is an extended lunch period for those who wish to go to the gym without having to worry about rushing back to the office and having time to eat.
Building trust with your team requires transparency. A culture of secrecy and mistrust can develop due to a lack of openness, which may be tremendously destructive to any organisation. When team members are trained in a transparent culture, it builds a trust loop that extends to customer transactions. This means that transparency within your work culture directly extends to your customer base. In fact, 50% of team members say bosses sharing information and data significantly positively impact productivity and motivation. Studies shared by Forbes show employees consider transparency to be the number one factor in determining workplace happiness. We aim to be as transparent as possible; that's why we have regularly scheduled monthly company meetings to review all the goings-on in each team. We address our wins and fails and how to improve the following month. Additionally, we follow this up with e-newsletters that keep everyone informed.
Company Values Are There For a Reason
Company values are essential; often, they'll be displayed in giant banners in the office. However, it's necessary to not just have these values as nice words or phrases for company collateral. The values your business chooses should reflect your relationships between your clients as well as your team members. Communication also plays a key role here, as discussing them fosters a sense of shared purpose and transforms your teams' perspective from cog in the machine to valuable team member! But don't make successful communication a one-way street. Encourage active communication within your company! If your company value is determined, be sure to strive not only for your clients but also for your teams' wellbeing and objectives. Why is this important? Only 1 in 150 employees say their organisation does not have a set of fully engaged values. Additionally, 25% of Millennials say their top career goal is to "make a positive impact in my organisation."
Introduce New Starters in the Right Way
Did you realise that the core of company norms isn't learned in a classroom? They're picked up in casual conversations between new employees and co-workers. This is where the value of the socialisation process becomes apparent. It emphasises the importance of co-workers and supervisors in successfully socialising newcomers.
According to research, initial impressions are lasting. When it comes to groups, this is even more true. Now is the moment to send out your top personnel to mingle with the newbies. As a result, you boost your chances of making the best possible impression with the support of your team! Great onboarding means better team retention, sometimes increasing it by 82%! Our managers take our new hires out for a paid lunch on their first day. We feel it's an excellent way to sit back, relax, and get to know the person a little better. It also provides an opportunity to help them understand the lay of the land and ask essential questions.
Reward Your Team Members
A workplace culture that doesn't reward hard work doesn't last very long. Whether your team has had a big win, or a challenge they tried to achieve but may have fallen slightly short, it's crucial to reward initiatives and drive. Even someone who practices the company's core values and does their best should get a shout-out. Why is this important? A high-recognition culture reduces turnover, ensuring the durability of your company's culture. Companies that rank in the top 20% for creating a "recognition-rich culture" have a voluntary turnover rate that is 31% lower.
Our teams often have incentives, prize draws, and just casual events and outings. Before the pandemic, we would have two yearly incentive trips to places like Spain and the US to reward and thank all the hard-working team members. Since then, due to travel restrictions, we have had to replace the trips abroad with vouchers, but the practice is still in place. Moreover, we have resumed Lunch Clubs and host company events in various locations. After all, a work culture that doesn't celebrate isn't a work culture worth celebrating.
Feedback is Key to Improvement
If employees want to align their performance with your company culture, they need regular feedback. A once-a-year meeting is simply insufficient! You should applaud behaviour that aligns with your values and work on areas where you can improve. Keep track of things with regular reporting. We do this in numerous ways with our teams. We regularly have one-to-ones with managers, daily and weekly catch-ups as well. This is crucial as 68% of employees who receive accurate and consistent feedback feel fulfilled in their jobs.
Great Work Cultures Power Great Brands
A strong team fueled by positive company culture is the foundation of any successful organisation, particularly in today's modern workplace, characterised by global and diverse groups, increased instability, and changing work habits. As a result, it's no surprise that many businesses find it challenging to develop and maintain the correct culture that will help them succeed in the long run. Yet, to be an effective brand, one where others will want to work with you, positive work culture is essential. Make sure you listen to your team, take their points under consideration and look to change with your team's needs.