ABOUT THE AUTHOR | AD&V® is dedicated to advanced and energy-efficient sustainable architecture & interior design that enhances people’s experience of the world and improves their lives.
Office culture can have a profound influence on employee performance.
If your office culture is non-existent, and your employees are unmotivated, it will translate into the work they produce. Office culture plays an important role in a company’s success. As they say “culture eats strategy for lunch.” Companies who pay attention to office culture and have motivated employees often enjoy long-lasting success. If you’re looking to improve your company’s office culture and motivate your team, check out 10 ideas below.
1. PROMOTE HEALTH & WELLNESS
One of the ways to look out for the wellbeing of employees is to promote their health. Staying healthy and maintaining a fitness routine is not always easy when life and its pressures take a toll. You can encourage your team to stay healthy and motivated to achieve their fitness goals by providing health insurance benefits, a fitness stipend, and encouraging them to look after their physical and mental health. Start a fitness challenge and get your team to participate. Encourage some healthy competition!
Our spaces and their designs also greatly impact our health. Air quality, access to nature, and flexible spaces are all important elements to consider in the workplace. Providing standing desks, substantial fresh air intake, and lots of natural plants can greatly improve working conditions for our teams. If your employees are feeling healthy and well, they will produce good work.
2. INCENTIVIZE PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Encourage your team members to continue to grow and expand their personal and professional skills and knowledge for their own benefit and that of the team and the company. Create initiatives and opportunities for lifelong learning to help each employee achieve their goals and dreams.
For example, we offer our team regular goal setting meetings, industry lunch &learns, resources, coaching and mentoring opportunities as well as an annual budget to be used for training and/or professional development outside of the office. Help your employees continue to grow both personally and professionally to reach their maximum potential.
3. CONSIDER PERSONAL TIME OFF
It’s important to acknowledge that employees have lives outside of the workplace. They may sometimes refrain from taking days off because they need to work to provide for their families. You can support your team to take care of their personal situations by providing paid personal hours so your team can prioritize their personal matters without feeling penalized for doing so.
Another way to support your team is to allow flexible working hours. By focusing on outputs rather than inputs you can encourage a culture of accountability and teamwork. We do this with our team to encourage work/life balance that doesn’t sacrifice their personal lives.
4. INSTILL ZzzMail
To allow your team to disconnect from the pressures of work and allow them space to recharge, we suggest implementing a ZzzMail policy. The ZzzzMail policy limits the use of work emails during certain hours during the week and on weekends. From Monday through Friday between 9:00pm and 7:00am, and all-day during weekends and holidays, our team members are encouraged to disconnect from work and refrain from sending or responding to work emails. The policy aims to encourage team members to be respectful of others personal time and to set boundaries with clients and consultants.
5. ORGANIZE TEAM BUILDING ACTIVITIES
Aim to provide the best possible working environment for every employee. Retreats, happy hours, team yoga, community service opportunities and games are some ways that have helped our team form stronger connections with each other. This Pandemic has been difficult on everybody and affects us all in different ways. At our last team building activity, each team member opened up about some of the struggles they’ve been enduring since the Pandemic began. This exercise definitely made us understand each other more, empathize with one another and it helped us form a deeper bond as a team.
6. ASK FOR INPUT
Ask for input and listen to your team. You can ask for your team’s feedback through surveys, suggestions boxes, or Q&A’s at the end of meetings. We send out a daily survey to each team member that asks them to reflect on what went well that day and what was difficult. This is invaluable information that allows the leadership team to understand what is happening on a daily basis, so they can pivot and adapt quickly if needed. Taking your team’s input into consideration is extremely important when it comes to improving company policies, work environment and general work processes.
7. KEEP THEM IN THE LOOP
Be transparent with your employees and keep them in the loop about the latest company news, updates, and projects. For this, we have weekly meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. The AD&V Team takes turns discussing and sharing their weekly priorities, if there’s something holding them back, and something they’re celebrating.
This short dynamic allows everyone to know what others are working on, if they are holding someone back or can help someone and helps to take the team temperature for the week. Being transparent and having open communication with everyone will help your team and company succeed!
8. GIVE THEM THE TOOLS THEY NEED
Make sure that every team member has the necessary tools they need to do their job efficiently. Check if they’re in need of extra materials, and if they know how to maximize new technology or software. Shortly after the pandemic began, we gave our entire team company phones with internet hotspots. They were also provided with laptops to facilitate remote work. Having your team prepared helps avoid unnecessary anxiety, technical difficulties and other potential interruptions during work hours.
9. FOSTER ENGAGEMENT
Get employees involved! The more engaged employees are with the company, the more they will care for their collective work. We take the entire AD&V team to site visits, involved in community initiatives, and groundbreaking events to remind them they play an important part in creating communities and that the work that they do matters. Getting the team involved in company initiatives will help them understand more clearly why they do the work that they do and motivate them.
10. CELEBRATE THE TEAM
Each team member’s achievement is an achievement for everyone. Celebrate your team members by giving them special shout outs for both their personal and professional achievements. We highlight team member’s work during our weekly meetings, and we recently added a bulletin board for everyone to let each other know what life goals and achievements they’re celebrating. Letting your team know that you care, will keep pushing them to do the best they can do and motivate them to keep growing.
Businesses are run by people. It’s important to invest and reward your people, share in their successes and commit to supporting them in the pursuit of work-life balance. With a supportive office culture and the right motivation, your employees and firm will continue to grow and succeed!