If you want to grow and sustain a business, you need to be able to attract — and keep — talent. Company culture is one of the biggest things workers are looking for, and it’s insanely important for business success. Too often, companies focus on little perks like a Ping-Pong table and the occasional after-work happy hour. However, it takes a little bit more than that if you really want to stand out.
Focus on Results
It’s hard for workers to thrive if they have a management team breathing down their neck and making sure they don’t clock in a minute late. If they’ve had a productive day and knocked out everything on their to-do list, there’s no reason for them to stay at the office until 5 p.m. on the dot twiddling their thumbs — or playing on the Internet. Start rewarding workers’ results, instead of the time they’re in the office.
In a results-only work environment, for example, employees are focusing on their goals and making sure their work is up to par. They aren’t going to goof off, because they know you’re looking at their output, instead of whether they’re just at their desk. Not only does this approach get the company greater results and more productive workers — it also makes for happy employees when they know they’ll be able to go home if they’ve accomplished their goals for the day.
Build a True Team
You want workers who can collaborate well together, avoid drama and actually get along. This harmony doesn’t happen if everyone is separated all the time, or if management pits them against each other when they’re working. It may sound cheesy, but doing team-building activities and spending time together outside the office as a team can really help.
It’s important to trust everyone you’re working with and know you can rely on them. Team-building can help you accomplish that. Holding frequent team meetings where everyone is encouraged to provide input on how they see things going in the company, as well as what’s working and what isn’t, is also a good idea. Let them know their opinions are valued, and that this is a team effort. Everyone should want the company — and their team — to succeed.
Emphasize Your Core Values
Core values are what matter most to a company. They’re the things you want to emphasize, and what you want your company to be known for. What do you want the world to think about when they see your company’s name? What vibe do you want to give off?
Hiring people who fit your core values is crucial. If excellent customer service is one of those values, you’ll want to hire charismatic people who are energetic and always smiling. If you want to focus on creativity and innovation, hire people who are full of ideas and always creating something. Your employees are the ones who are going to be representing those values, and therefore helping create a culture that portrays them.
Look at Your Past
When you’ve worked in other companies, think about what their culture was like. There have to be times when you thought, “If I was the boss, I would do this differently.” Working for other companies gives you a good idea of what to do — and what not to do. Now that you are the boss, don’t forget those experiences. They’re something you can definitely learn from while implementing your company’s culture.
Have Some Fun
People need a break every once in a while. Some spontaneous fun can keep your employees engaged, and they’ll appreciate the gesture. Make some Fridays half-days, or allow people to work remotely. Get a catered lunch, or have a barbeque outside. Fun isn’t everything, but a little fun goes a long way. Your employees are going to be willing to put in the work when they know you reward them and give them a break every once in a while.
Company culture is a delicate, yet crucial, thing to build. Look at the bigger picture and make sure your business’ culture is going to be attractive to employees. They’re looking for a place that appreciates them and rewards them for their hard work. It’s time to give them that.
Scott Huntington is a writer from Harrisburg, PA. Find his work on Business Insider, Yahoo Autos, Time, INC, and more. Follow him on Twitter at @SMHuntington.