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3 Big Misconceptions About Corporate Culture

StrategyDriven Corporate Cultures Article |Corporate Culture|3 Big Misconceptions About Corporate CultureCorporate culture is a term that gets thrown around a lot and it’s often misunderstood by business leaders. Your corporate culture refers to the often unspoken set of rules and values that govern your business. The way that things are done in the company day to day and the way that all of your employees interact with one another and you all has to do with your company culture.

In most cases, businesses without a positive corporate culture will struggle to survive. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that people get wrong about corporate culture and this leads to problems in the business. These are some of the big misconceptions about corporate culture that you need to stop listening to.

Corporate Culture Can’t Be Built

People talk about their corporate culture like it’s a vague thing that can’t be pinned down. It’s an ethos or a feeling, maybe it’s a vibe. It’s assumed that the culture of your business develops naturally on its own without direct input from you, but that isn’t the case. Business experts like Marc Spizzirri have a lot of experience helping companies build a corporate culture because it is something that you have direct control over. The policies and systems that you put in place to govern the day to day running of your business create the company culture. So, don’t make the mistake of thinking that culture can’t be built and it will sort itself out.

Good Corporate Culture Just Means A Fun Workplace

This misconception is largely down to big tech companies creating new-age offices with ping pong tables and bean bag chairs everywhere. People have this idea that a positive company culture just means a relaxed work environment where people are allowed to have fun instead of being stuck in a cubicle, but it’s so much more than that. It’s also about the direction of the business and the priorities that you have as a company. For example, sustainability is often a central part of the company culture. In some businesses, the focus is on providing opportunities for development. Whatever your company culture is, it has to be about more than fun workspaces and relaxed schedules.

Culture Is Defined By Employees

People often think of culture in terms of how employees interact with one another and work together. Things like conflict resolution, work-life balance, and perks all factor in too. But even though that is an important part of corporate culture, it is not defined by the employees and it is not built from the ground up. Your corporate culture starts with you outlining the values that are most important to your business. You then need to build a company and put processes in place to ensure that you uphold those values. The way that your employees interact with one another is part of that, but it happens as a result of the culture you have built, not the other way around.

If you keep believing these myths about corporate culture, you will struggle to get yours right and it will have a big impact on your business.

How to Create a Positive Work Atmosphere

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Positive Work Atmosphere|How to Create a Positive Work AtmosphereThere are plenty of ways to creative a positive working environment for yourself and your employees. No matter how large your workforce or the space you have, you can make some simple adjustments to boost the harmony and productivity in your office. If you are just starting out with a new team or are looking to refresh your workplace, here are just a couple of ideas to help you get started in creating a great working environment.

Keep it clean

Making sure your office or workspace is clean is essential for the health and safety of yourself, your employees, and anyone that enters. Using professional cleaning services is a great way to ensure that your space is cleaned to a high level. This can help reduce illness and injury, and therefore staff sick days. It is also important to keep your workspaces clean as this helps give a good first impression to anyone entering the area. Having a clean office can also boost productivity and help prevent things from becoming lost or damaged.

Bring the outside in

When you work in an office, you may miss being around nature. This is where introducing plants into your work environment comes in. This simple action has a multitude of benefits; from boosting productivity and creativity to cleaning the air, plants are a great addition to help improve your work environment. Not all plants will thrive indoors, so make sure you choose the correct plant for the location. Common office plants include snake plants, succulents, aloe, or peace lilies, as they are relatively easy to look after and do not need to be kept outside.

Color psychology

The colors that feature in your office can also have an impact. Color psychology is the study of the way in which different colors and hues affect and impact human behavior. Whether you choose to completely redecorate or invest in some colored accessories or furniture, thinking about what colors you use can have an effect on yourself and your team. For example, red can be a high-energy color to paint your office, and green can help to maintain a sense of balance and increase productivity.

Noise

Another way to create a positive working atmosphere is to manage the noise. It can be very distracting if there is constant loud noise, and this can result in a lot of wasted time. If you cannot give employees their own individual work areas, items such as noise-reducing headphones can be incredibly useful. Quieter areas are also beneficial for taking breaks, so it is a good idea to have a separate area for breaks and rest, allowing employees to be distanced from their workspaces, which also prevents those around them from being distracted by colleagues on their breaks. You could even invest in nap rooms, as there are many benefits to taking a power nap at work. Interestingly, plants can also help reduce noise levels, as they can absorb sound or deflect it.

5 ways to create a productive and happy working environment

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Working environment|5 ways to create a productive and happy working environmentEvery business owner wants their operations to run smoothly. A place where staff get on well, communicate, and are as productive as they possibly can be. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work that way as personalities can clash, employees can become complacent, and animosities can form.

The good news is that there are many things you can do that can help send your business in that direction. Here are 5 ways to create a productive and happy working environment.

Don’t be too strict

Having policies and procedures is all well and good, but if you micro manage or don’t cut staff a bit of slack once in a while, they will eventually get sick of it. As long as the necessary work is being done, leave them to it.
If you need to intervene from time to time, that’s fine but if your team is self-driven, hardworking, and efficient, let them do their thing. If you don’t, it could backfire tremendously.

Create a welcoming space

An office that looks nice is far more enjoyable to work in, so if yours requires some TLC, you could reap the rewards by giving it a bit of an overhaul. Freshening up the décor, changing furniture, and adding accessories such as high quality custom planters or wall art will make your space feel far more welcoming. This is beneficial not only in terms of client perception but for your employees too.

Socialize once in a while

If your team doesn’t socialize, it’s worth trying to do so once in a while. Whether it be a game of ten-pin bowling, a meal, or a few drinks at the local bar, spending time together outwith the office environment will help you to get to know each other on a different level.

It usually results in better communication when you return to the office, which should, in turn, increase productivity and improve the working environment for everyone.

Reward hard work

If your staff have been working exceptionally hard or have met all their targets, reward them for it. It could be a monetary reward such as an annual bonus, for example. If you prefer to give something a little different, shopping vouchers or a nice bottle of champagne will always be well received.

Rewards make employees feel like their hard work is paying off, and they will be more inclined to continue working hard to make your business a success.

Ask for ideas and feedback

If an employee thinks you are listening to them, they will be more inclined to go that extra mile, so where possible, ask for ideas and feedback. There can be a lot going on in the background you don’t know about, so letting them know your door is always open will benefit everyone.

You are likely to be party to far more information than you would usually be, and they will feel like they can freely offer suggestions or opinions.

Most successful businesses usually have a team of happy and motivated employees lurking in the background, so if that’s something you can replicate, you will reap the rewards in the long run.

Creating an Efficient and Productive Workplace

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Productive Workplace|Creating an Efficient and Productive WorkplaceWhether you are a new start-up creating a new workplace or you are an established business going for a workspace overhaul, you will want to ensure that you get your space right. The correct layout, lighting and furniture can have more of an impact on staff than you might think. Most importantly how your space is laid out and how it functions can and will affect your productivity. If workspaces are cluttered and clumsy then your workflow will not be as smooth. So, before you go out buying items for your space you need to think about what you need to get from your workspace and you need to think about what it must include.

The Purpose of Your Workspace

How will your space be used and what will you use it for? Are you setting up a sales office or are you setting up a sales and production workplace. Will you have customers visiting or will it just be yourself and possibly staff using the location. If you know how you will be using your space then you can create a plan. If, for example, you are setting up a workspace for just yourself and staff then you know that you need to focus on good quality ergonomic chairs and furniture, a space to unwind (featuring a couple of sofas and comfy chairs) and a place to prepare food and drink. If on the other hand you are welcoming customers and clients you will need to focus more on the design element. You will have to create a workspace that is in line with your brand and in line with your customer expectations. From colors to branding – it all matters.

Create a Mood board and Design board

To help collate all of your ideas and thoughts, you need to put together ideas and design boards. These boards will help you see and visualize the space a bit better. On your boards you should incorporate all of the ideas and colors that you would like to have. When you put together boards you get to see firsthand what is working and what is not. A productive and efficient workspace needs to be one that is highly functional. On your design board you can ensure that you are only using items that are functional yet stylish. Items that serve no use or function may look good, but you will find they end up being a waste of space and money later down the line.

Lighting and Ambience

The feel and ambience you create within your workplace says a lot about your brand and about your business. Creating a bright and pleasant working atmosphere that also ensures you stick to workplace lighting regulations is possible and achievable. Whether you go for warm colored and modern-feel lighting or you go for daylight lighting you will want to be consistent and you will want to be as energy efficient as possible. When looking for and buying lighting fixtures consider how they will fit in with your design or scheme and also ensure that they are easy to clean and maintain.

Desks and Office Furniture

Will you be going for sleek individual desks or are you looking to create closed cubicles and workstations. If you are reliant on teams and individuals working together then you need spaces that they can come and sit together. Office furniture needs to be of high quality as it will see more use and wear than your standard home furniture. It will also need to be easy to clean, maintain and repair. Having every piece of furniture built in looks clean and tidy but it can be disastrous to locate and fix problems when they arise, so keep things simple yet effective.

The Flow and Feel of a Workspace

Ultimately, how a workspace flows and feels will affect everyone and anyone that uses it, so it is important to invest time and effort into getting it right. A productive environment can be a profitable environment. You want to create a workspace that you, visitors and employees enjoy being in. Size and shape matter and even the smallest of workplaces can be efficient yet well designed. If your space is an odd shape then keep furniture simple and small, large pieces look cluttered and out of place. Do not forget that if you require any inspiration for color schemes then you can use the services of a designer. Getting the flow and feel of a workspace right is highly achievable with time, effort and a workable budget.

3 Ways You Can Make Employees Feel Comfortable Enough To Return To The Workplace

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article | 3 Ways You Can Make Employees Feel Comfortable Enough To Return To The WorkplaceThe pandemic has altered people’s lives in many ways, including forcing most employees to work from home. In some ways, this has immensely changed the dynamics of company culture, which hasn’t been to every business’ liking.

If you miss having your staff around, or you’re worried that remote working is damaging employee performance and productivity, you’re probably eager to get everyone back to the workplace ASAP. How do you do this, though, without harming people’s safety and ensuring that they all feel comfortable?

These three suggestions ought to help.

Have Consistent And Open Communication

If you want to have a successful business, it’s important to understand why employee communication is essential. The more you talk to your employees and understand their feelings about work, the likelier they are to be honest with you and become dedicated to the business.

Of course, trying to do this in big team meetings isn’t the way to go about things. Instead, you want to focus on one-to-one conversations so that employees can voice concerns without potential judgement from their colleagues. Admittedly, some people may still be nervous about sharing their struggles with you, but they’re more likely to open up this way.

In terms of COVID-19, regular communication can let you know who’s uncomfortable about returning to the workplace and find ways to ease their minds. That way, no-one has to do anything that they’re not comfortable doing.

Make The Workplace Exceptionally Hygienic

One of the biggest concerns that employees are likely to have about returning to the workplace is hygiene. After all, the reason they’ve been stuck at home for so long is that there’s a virus going around.

While you might not be able to give your employees absolute certainty that they won’t get sick, you can still provide them with an exceptional level of hygiene. This can be achieved in several ways, including using a COVID-19 fogging machine.

Capable of killing all but 0.0001% of germs, a disinfectant fogger could help your UK workplace to be as free of contaminants as possible. You’ll find such a solution at Ideal Cleaning, who promise that the process will only keep you away from work for as little as two hours. If you combine their fogging capabilities with social distancing and good employee hygiene, there’s a good chance that COVID-19 will never infiltrate your workplace.

Establish A Detailed Work Plan

If employees are still hesitant after opening communication and cleaning the office, it may be worth presenting them with a return-to-work plan. In this, you can detail exactly how you’ll ensure everyone stays safe, so the risk of the virus spreading is as low as possible.

In this detailed plan, you’ll probably want to include these protocols, as well as outlining how you’ll monitor and respond to employee behaviour. After all, there’s no point telling people to do x, y, and z if you’re not going to check that everyone follows your orders.

Your staff who are reluctant to return to the workplace need to know that you’ll do everything to keep them safe. Otherwise, they’re just going to continue working from home.

If your business is struggling with the remote working setup, then it’s understandable why you’d want everyone back as soon as possible. Just make sure you take all the necessary steps to acknowledge and protect your employees so that this move benefits, rather than hurts, your business.