Creating a Strong Company Culture and Promoting Teamwork - IE3: Indoor Environment & Energy Efficiency

Creating a Strong Company Culture and Promoting Teamwork

How much is employee turnover costing your company, and what can you do about it? According to the Human Capital Benchmarking Report, the average cost to hire a new employee is $4,129. However, there are many untrackable costs with employee turnover, too. You have to consider everything from the cost to advertise for a new hire to the time associated with interviewing and training.
You can see why it is important to create a strong company culture both to attract the best candidates and to keep the highly skilled ones you already have.

Communication Is Key
Have you ever worked for someone who is all over the place? They ask you to complete an urgent report for the upcoming meeting and then five minutes later want you to run off some copies of a mailer for customers. Learning how to communicate both as the leader of a company and as a company as a whole is vital.

Jerry Low, owner of WebHostingSecretRevealed.net, runs a web hosting review and small business advice website with nine employees in seven different time zones. Keeping the lines of communication open with people all over the map isn’t easy. For his business, using online tools is vital. He currently uses Slack.

“We depend very much on Slack in keeping everyone informed, connected, and focused on business goals. Three perks in Slack that I love the most are: 1) Real-time team discussion, 2) Accessibility (from different devices via browsers, desktop and mobile apps), and 3) Convenient file sharing and management (copy-and-paste from clipboard, searchable content from one box, etc.).”

Getting Everyone on the Same Page
When everyone in a company works together toward the same goals, everyone feels like part of a team effort. One way to get everyone on the same page is with daily meetings. Some companies choose to have what is called a “stand-up” meeting, which is a quick 10-minute meeting where everyone shares what they’re working on. The agenda is very narrow and focused.

Steve Cody, CEO and co-founder of The Better Software Company, takes time every morning to open the lines of communication and make sure that everyone in the company is on the same page. The small business software company builds their culture each morning by reading a chapter from a book Steve has chosen for them. The topics vary, but the focus gets everyone on the same page and grows the company as a whole.

After the chapter is read, there is time for open discussion and conversation. Steve Cody states, “It’s important to feel you’re part of something special. Half of our team is on the development side, so it is important to start everyone on the same conversation each day.”

Recognize Effort and Achievement
Another way to build a strong company culture is by recognizing both effort and achievement. There are many ways to do this, from rewards programs to company picnics. Cody shared that The Better Software Company has Tiki Fridays. The event is a fun time to come together and also to recognize achievements from the week.

“We have a tiki bar available. Everyone stands in a circle and each person shares what they are working on that is contributing to our customers’ success. Everyone has to share.”

The meeting is informal and fun, with everyone standing in a circle. Cody adds, “We offer two awards on Tiki Fridays. The first is the Wow Award.” Cody explained that the person who currently holds the Wow Award gets to choose the next winner. It is someone who has wowed the rest of the team that week by going above and beyond.

“One guy was up until 1:30 a.m. moving. When his co-workers found out about it, three of them shows up to help. They won the Wow Award that week.”

The company also hands out the Hunger Award every Friday. This is a trophy. People are nominated for this award based on who hustled the most that week.

Other Perks
Some other perks you can offer that will build a strong company culture and make your team more cohesive include:

  • Tuition Reimbursement: Companies such as UPS and Amazon offer this perk to employees. Some companies require that the courses relate to the work the person is doing, but some just reimburse part of the tuition expenses. It is hard to leave a company that is paying for your education, and you’ll be investing in your employees. Field techs could benefit from Dale Carnegie courses or additional training as well. The Human Capital Benchmarking Report showed that around 61% of employers provide tuition reimbursement to their employees.
  • Retirement Planning: Offering a 401K match program (you don’t have to match 100%) is a nice incentive for employees to both stay with your company and to invest in their own retirement.
  • Management Training Programs: One reason employees leave a company is because there is no room for growth. Offering a management training program can provide the incentive some people need to stay there for the long haul. You’ll also be investing in your company’s future leaders.

There are many ways to build your company culture. Team building activities, retreats, and rewards programs are some additional ways. The focus should always be on both the well-being of the customers and the level of satisfaction employees have with their work. By combining these things and focusing on both, your company will be stronger both internally and externally, which can make you stand out from competitors.

Lori Soard

Lori Soard

Lori is a freelance writer for IE3. She has a BA in English and PhD in Journalism and have been published in several magazines
Lori Soard

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