When starting a company, many small business owners expend much energy to come up with the right name and logo. But to have an effective brand, you have to get the entire staff to make that logo mean something. Building a brand takes good, committed employees that are living what your marketing promises. In order to hire and retain employees that you want representing your brand, it takes a good corporate culture. Here are some ideas for creating a good work environment.
The society of yesterday created the social norm that you must clock-in at 8 and stay until 5. In today’s world of connectivity, we can work virtually anytime from anywhere. If your business model can support flexible hours, that can be attractive to many employees. For instance, parents may have to bus children based on their schedule of activities. Or if you have creative people working for you, their creative ideas may spark in the evening. The point is to focus on the quality of work employees produce rather than when it’s produced.
Employees that work with people they enjoy can make employees more accountable because they don’t want to let down a friend. Create an environment conducive to a little fun outside the work day. Plan a company bowling tournament, go to a baseball game or grab some appetizers on the way home. Even a quick outing in the middle of the day is a welcome retreat. Take your team out to grab a cookie, a cup of coffee or walk around the block.
Sometimes it’s the little things that count. Think about a budget for some amenities in the office. Have gourmet coffee, sodas or even fresh fruit around for the employees to enjoy. Bring in lunch on occasion or have a potluck for employees to share their favorite recipes.
Some companies require a specific dress code because customers expect a certain look. A banker is going to wear a suit and tie to be taken seriously. But if you have employees that don’t have a lot of face time with customers, consider a more relaxed dress code. This gives employees a chance to show their personality through their wardrobe. Maybe one of these hot, summer days you can spring a surprise shorts day on your employees.