Micro business lessons from the SME Culture Leaders: Start as you mean to go on
The workforce is changing, expectations are on the rise and the standard 9-to-5 office hours simply don?t cut it any more. The nature of business has evolved, and people are now at the heart; the mantra that that employees come first and if you look after your employees they will, in turn, look after your clients, has never been more true. But how can the ultimate office culture be achieved, and do you really know what makes your staff tick? Following the publication of Real Business and Breathe HR’s SME Culture Leaders list, Gemma Spinks, director of Neo PR ? one of the 25 companies recognised ? gives her top tips for creating a culture that not only attracts new employees but makes existing staff want to stay.
Treat your employees like people
It might sound obvious but treating your staff as people rather than employees will go a long way. Think about what you value as a person and make sure you are extending the same values to them. Promoting a positive work-life balance and recognising that your employees have a life outside of work is important, and will often make your staff feel more motivated, engaged and loyal to the company if their personal commitments are recognised.
Ask for regular input
No matter how well you think you might know your team or your entire staff base, it never hurts to ask for regular input and feedback. Getting opinions from your staff about the state of the business, what they would improve about their roles or the dynamics of the team will really help inform future decisions and ensure your staff feel included. Making sure your staff understand why certain decisions are being made and keeping them involved as much as possible is essential. If one of your employees has made a suggestion that you can?t implement, make sure you explain why so the employee isn?t left feeling undervalued.
Embrace an open culture
There is still a huge taboo attached to talking about mental health problems which is one of the main reasons many employees don?t come forward if they are struggling. Encouraging an open culture and creating relationships within the team means someone is much more likely to speak up. This expectation can be set from the moment someone starts at the company and can be continued through the implementation of quarterly reviews and holding team socials which help to create a more positive, friendly and supportive culture.
Care about your team
Again, this might sound obvious but showing your staff that you genuinely care about them will really boost team morale and motivation. If you know that one of your team might have a problem that could affect them in work, show you care by asking them about it or having some time out over a coffee. It?ll really make a positive difference ? not only to the person?s day but to the dynamics of the team. Team socialising is also so important for bringing the team closer together to make sure each employee feels like the rest of the team “has their back”. Having a supportive management team will really help here too.
Reward and recognise your staff
Everyone likes to be recognised for their achievements ? no matter how big or small ? in their own way. It?s part of getting to know your staff: find out what matters to them, what their goals are and how they want to be rewarded. Make sure that recognition is encouraged at all levels, from Junior to Senior, and use reviews as a chance to make sure employees are happy, growing in their roles and are able to raise any concerns they may have. Gemma Spinks is director of?Neo PR
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