We’ve all had a job at some point in our lives that makes us dread getting out of bed every morning. Some combination of unfulfilling work tasks, micromanagement, and an uninspiring or oppressive atmosphere was likely to blame. If you are in a leadership position at your company, you definitely don’t want these comments to be describing your workplace, especially as millennials are entering the workforce.
An infographic by Washington State University about why company culture matters states that college graduates entering the workforce are willing to make 7% less in starting pay to work for an organization that shares their values. When an employee feels like they are working in a place with a good culture they tend to work harder, build strong relationships with their coworkers and are less likely to quit their job.
What makes a company's culture good? While every company is going to approach it in a different way, there are some basic aspects that are reflected all around. There are many ways these aspects can be incorporated into your company or department to create a better culture and atmosphere for your employees.
I think it’s fair to say that people don’t always put their health first. This can be especially true for those who work office jobs and find themselves sitting for a large portion of their day. The atmosphere in the office, like lighting and set up, can also affect a person’s mental wellness. Being stuck sitting in a dark office cubicle all day can be depressing. Lack of activity and a bad atmosphere can have a significant impact of a person’s mood and motivation, so putting an emphasis on physical and mental wellness will benefit your employees greatly. Some ways you can promote a good culture of wellness are creating a committee focused on supporting and motivating employees to be more active, offer incentives like gym memberships or an onsite gym, creating a better and more open atmosphere, and investing in technology that employees can use to track fitness.
People are creative by nature to varying degrees. If there is no room for creativity in a job, chances are the employees will feel stagnate and unmotivated, resulting in less productivity. Fostering a creative environment is sure to boost employee inspiration and motivation to work. Even jobs that don’t thrive on creative forces – like marketing and design do – can find ways to promote creativity in their employees. One way offices have found to make the environment more creative is by hot-desking – an open office plan that doesn’t block people off from each other or assign desks. This allows more interaction, which naturally results in a spirited atmosphere. Another way that companies are promoting creativity is by encouraging play. Offering things like legos and games for employees to use during break time is a great way to rejuvenate the mind in between work tasks.
Millennials are a generation who have realized that work isn’t life, and it shouldn’t be. While they understand the importance of working and making money, it’s no longer seen as a top priority. Work-life balance is an important factor to happiness. People want to be able to experience life and spend time with loved ones, and flexibility in their work can make all the difference in how they view their company and their work. Offering a set number of flex time/telecommuting hours every month for employees is a great way to offer up some flexibility. Within this flex time, employees not only get a chance to change up their schedule a little bit to fit their life, but they also gain a sense of trust from their managers, as accountability and communication is key when telecommuting. When micromanaging has been their past experience with employers, a feeling of trust is a refreshing change.
Finding a way to make your company culture attractive to new and current employees is key to a successful business. Happy employees are productive and loyal employees, and incorporating a better culture in your company is sure to make a huge impact on employee satisfaction and turnover rates.
Mila Sanchez is a writer with a BA in English Linguistics living in Idaho. Her ambitions in life include traveling the world, learning languages, and taking pictures of her dog, Baymax. She and Baymax can often be found hiking in the foothills near her town. Connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.
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