Business culture is easily dismissed and labelled a 'buzzword' by many corporations. But culture has a real impact on employee morale and business outcomes. In fact, employees with a good work-life balance are 21% more dedicated and productive than those with less work-life balance. So how can you incorporate more activities into your business that can boost employee morale, and thereby potentially increase productivity?
CEO of the online platform Machines4U that lists buy or hire of machinery, Steve Krebs, says some solutions require some out-of-the-box thinking.
“As the business owner, all change starts with you. You need to identify what is important to you to grow within your business and give your employees room to participate in activities that allow for that growth; personal or professional.”
Here are four activities you can introduce to your office to enhance employee engagement.
1. Book Club
Introducing a book club to your business can be beneficial for a few reasons: it can help foster better relationships with colleagues, cultivate emotional intelligence, and help improve communication skills. It has been found that reading, in general, makes you a better person, so it makes sense that bringing books into the workplace helps employees not only participate in a group activity but also help develop their skills within their own roles. For example, Hug Your Haters by Jay Baer provides a unique perspective (backed by research) on customers who “care enough” to complain, giving employees a new positive take on those otherwise uncomfortable conversations.
Help Employee Development
By introducing a book club into your business, you can provide a culture of continuous opportunity and growth. Good business culture goes beyond a good environment; it's cultivated by your people and the opportunities you provide. And a good culture will help attract the right people into your organisation. Consider a book club done during business hours as a free way to invest in your employees and draw upon the experiences of thought leaders in (and outside of) your industry.
Enhance Team Bonding
How often does your team come together to openly discuss ideas and their own experiences? Book club gives your team the opportunity to read the same material yet come away with different ideas that impact them in different ways. The encouragement of sharing their beliefs and experiences in a safe environment means they will learn a lot more from each other that they may have never learned otherwise. This understanding builds more empathy and cultivates a stronger team dynamic.
Innovation And New Ideas In Roles
Reading non-fiction books, especially those by industry experts and thought leaders, allows employees to make connections from the book to their roles, and how they can implement changes to optimise efficiency, productivity, and/or their overall results. For example, books such as The Secrets to Closing the Sale by Zig Ziglar provide fundamental communication methods, strategies and perspectives that can be utilised across a variety of roles, benefiting employees business-wide.
2. Regular Team Catch Ups
This may seem counterintuitive, as we’ve all been to meetings that could have (and should have) been an email, but when executed correctly, regular meetings can be very powerful for your business.
Provide Transparency And Build Trust
When it comes to different departments, and even different roles, it's hard for employees to know what their counterparts are responsible for within the business. By keeping in regular contact with your team/s you can help everyone understand the scope of work each team is focusing on.
Read more: Importance of Transparent Leadership
Not only that, but by providing a time for employees to share their accomplishments with the rest of the business, you can foster a good company culture that celebrates all wins big and small.
Having that transparency in the business helps to build trust and makes employees feel they are working for a company with higher ethical standards. This then results in more engaged employees who are more committed to the overall business goals and direction of the business.
Transparency is also essential to allow room for innovation within your teams. When employees feel included and understand the business direction, they are more likely to be better performers and feel part of something bigger than themselves.
Encourage Teamwork And Solve Problems
More regular meetings, either company-wide or team-specific, gives everyone a chance to discuss any roadblocks they are facing and offers opportunities for collaboration from other team members. For instance, the sales team might be facing issues getting their prospects to open their emails; the marketing team could provide solutions in the form of automated email marketing, persuasive email templates, a unique prospect-driven campaign, or other creative ideas. Regular meetings help bring these issues to light and allow for more cross-team collaboration on solutions.
Humanise Leadership Teams
When done right, daily meetings help employees feel more included within the company and their team. Company-wide meetings are a great way to give the CEO a chance to update their team with important information and upcoming changes. Not only this, but attending meetings also helps employees feel more comfortable with their CEO and opens the floor to feedback from employees.
Read more: Restoring Humanity to Leadership
3. Early Knock-Off Team Socials
Incorporating team social time into the workweek, such as early knock-off on Fridays, is a great way to foster solid team relationships, and incentivise employees for a hard week’s work, while simultaneously building a great culture and strengthening employee retention.
Assists With Problem Solving
While you’d think the last thing on your mind at a team social is work, this relaxation time with colleagues creates a great environment for creative problem-solving. While employees unwind, they will likely discuss the roadblocks they have faced that week and interact with colleagues outside of their team who may provide some creative solutions to their issue.
Promotes Team Trust And Respect
Giving your teams the flexibility to relax during company time helps them feel like they can be themselves and provides the opportunity to mingle with other people in the business that they may not really get a chance to speak with otherwise. Building these external team relationships creates a more collaborative environment and smoother experience for everyone at work.
Read more: 5 Ways to Build Trust at the Workplace
4. Workplace Health & Well-being
With work taking up much of our daily time and routine, there is an opportunity to help employees get their much-needed exercise during work hours. Activities such as ‘run club’, ‘walking meetings’ or ‘morning yoga’ could go a long way to helping your employees stay physically fit, which has benefits for your business.
Healthier People Take Less Sick Leave
Those who are healthy are less likely to take time off, which helps minimise absenteeism in your business. Healthy people are also more likely to feel more productive and motivated while at work, which produces more effective employees!
Team Activities Build Rapport
Getting out into the fresh air together is a great way to strengthen team bonds. It's also a great way to help teammates relax and solve problems together. We've all been stuck in a rut, unable to complete a frustrating task, and what better way to reset and rezone than to get out in the fresh air and boost your mood. Try implementing a team activity and see how your employees come back to their desks refreshed and ready to hit the ground running again!
Read more: If You Want To Go Far, Go Together. Here’s Why Teamwork Matters!
Overall, incorporating some small, yet effective, team activities into your business is a simple way to invest in your people and business culture. And you might just find that your employees feel healthier, more relaxed and trust in your business even more, thus, creating a more productive and engaged workforce.
Watch the media powered by Leaderonomics on The Secrets To Building Phenomenal Teams with Garie Dooley: