For the number of articles that have been written on it, you would think everyone is an expert on the idea of company culture. Yet, as some studies suggest, many companies don’t put enough stock into the mere concept of culture, and those that claim to often only give it lip service.
This is counterproductive to recruiting and retaining employees. More and more, employees want to feel like they’re a part of something greater. And here’s a secret: you may have, in your mind, a great company culture. But if it isn’t being communicated to your staff, how will they ever know your vision?
One of the best ways to ensure everyone knows your culture is to design a workspace that reflects it. Here are three ways to accomplish this:
Create a plan
Most likely, you sat down a few years ago and wrote out a business plan. It’s documented, it has milestones, and it’s been re-evaluated a handful of times. Also as likely, you have a documented benefits plan for your employees. They know if you offer a 401K, group medical plan, or paid time off. Every year those benefits may change, but they’re recorded, written down, and communicated.
Unfortunately, the extent of most businesses’ company culture plan is the tagline on their business card. And yet company culture is crucial to employee happiness, engagement, and longevity. So, just as you spent time developing the first two plans, take time to figure out what kind of company you want to have. What is your mission and what are your values? Write it all down and update it as your business grows.
Ask for feedback
Your employees are your best resource. The clients may pay the bills, but they’re taken care of by those you’ve hired. If your employees are disconnected from your brand, the likelihood of them sticking around decreases – and nothing is worse for your clients than a revolving door of faces from your company. It takes time to develop a relationship with a client; find out what your employees are looking for, so they’ll stick around to maintain those relationships.
If you want your company to be known as one who prioritizes health, find out if your team is interested in standing desks. Perhaps they’ve suffered back strain from poor ergonomics at a prior company. Invest in chairs conducive to proper posture.
If you encourage team collaboration, that’s great! But what if your team members need their own space from time to time? Or, maybe one team member likes a dual screen setup and needs a desk to accommodate the technology. You won’t know either of these scenarios unless you ask.
Most importantly, your employees may have operational suggestions to improve the culture you’ve developed. Occasional surveys, as you re-evaluate your culture plan, can help to nail down these desired changes.
Start from scratch
When it comes to creating an office space, budget is often the first consideration. Money is important – we get it. But now that you’ve developed a plan and received feedback from your team, designing the right space is the next step. Your office should reflect your desired company culture. You should not adapt the culture to fit the space.
If collaboration with an open or even no-door policy is a top priority for you and your team, a building with an open floor plan is a better fit than individual offices. If employees also need to work independently from time to time, you may want to consider a facility that has room for “pods” or other places to temporarily get away.
And don’t compromise. Remember: this is an investment in both your employees’ and your company’s future. A short-term investment now can pay off dividends on long-term costs and retention.
We understand it takes time and money. Designing your office to reflect the brand culture you want can be a challenge. We’d love to help bring together the plan you’ve created. Request a quote, and a member of our team will be in touch with you soon!