Building Your Company Culture When You’re not Google
Small and medium companies are competing to make their company culture stand out next to the tech giants. Not all candidates are looking to work in huge companies–many employees prefer smaller teams where they can make more of an impact. In fact, even big companies have found the value in keeping their internal teams small and nimble.
Big companies do have a big advantage when it comes to having great perks. Everyone knows about Google’s nap pods, free meals, gyms, and even barbers on campus. So when you don’t have a huge budget like that, how can you create a company culture that shows you value your employees without negatively impacting your bottom line?
Here are 4 of our top suggestions for creating a vibrant, employee-centered workplace to attract new applicants and keep current employees happy:
1. Weekly Food and Mingle Events
Set aside one day a week to have a relaxed mingling event in a common area or cafeteria. Get food brought in, even if it’s something as simple as pizza and soda, and make sure to encourage all employees to attend. Setting aside an hour once per week to allow teams to talk to each other will provide a casual environment and spark creativity. Moreover, it will bring about a sense of team unity, as oftentimes departments don’t interact during the workday. Further, this will show your employees that you care about stress-management and providing a rewarding company culture for all the hard work they put in every day.
Some ideas could be:
- Brunch Wednesdays: picks up some donuts, bagels, or pastries and have a mid-week morning catch-up with your teams
- Pizza Fridays: it’s almost the weekend, so treat your staff to a diverse selection of pizzas, bread sticks, and salads
- Afternoon Tea Thursdays: give you employees a much-needed afternoon pick-me-up after lunch with an assortment of exotic teas, scones, tea cookies or mini sandwiches
Make sure to take pictures during these events and post them on you social channels. Your employees will likely share these images in their own circles, organically spreading your employer brand.
2. Flexible Work Hours
With commute times getting worse each year, having flexible hours as an option for your employees will allow them to work the times that suit their schedules. Parents may want to drop children off at school before coming into the office, while early-birds may want to beat traffic and come in at 7:00. Make sure that your managers are allowing for this policy as well by not scheduling early morning or afternoon meetings.
Further, depending on the type of work your employees do, consider allowing remote work. Even one day a week working from home can give employees the flexibility to see doctors, run errands, or just save them their commute time. Providing flexible work options will show your employees you are putting their needs on the list of company priorities.
3. Games Rooms
Have an extra room in your office? Why not put out some tables and chairs and make it into a game room. Order a dozen or so board games, or encourage employees to bring in their own.
Team members can take their lunch in the games room and play a few rounds of Uno and decompress after a stressful meeting. Allowing for a company culture with RnR, rather than strictly work-only will create an atmosphere your employees want to stay in. The last thing you want is your workers counting down the minutes until 5:00!
4. Pet-friendly Office
Assuming no extremely allergic employees work in your office, allowing people to bring their pets to work has been shown to have a really positive effect on company morale. The pet-owners themselves get to be with their fur babies while working, and their coworkers get to play with the dogs or cats as they walk around their desks. Stress-management is a high priority for many companies and this provides a free substitute for animal therapy.