As you would have read in our previous blog “The Brave New World of HR”, 87% of organisations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges.
To fundamentally change your organisational culture is not going to happen quickly, and there are many ways to approach it. It feels like a huge task, but if you take it one step at a time and focus upon the changes which have little cost and huge value you’ll immediately see an improvement.
The Swedish concept of Fika relates to getting together for a coffee, normally with cake, but the logic of stopping to spend time with your colleagues over food and drinks is a winner.
By getting your team or office to all step away from their desks, and socialise over food you are building networks, encouraging communication and starting new conversations.
An expansion of the lunching together would be a team or company day out. Could you close the office for one day a year for a beach party?
Try to keep the event inclusive and interesting to all, a little competitive could be fun but don’t alienate anyone – it could be a creative session rather than the traditional sporting focussed event.
To end the week on a high a win meeting involves getting the team together to each vocalise a win – you can do this with a beer in hand or a cup of tea.
The win meeting has multiple benefits, you get the team together, they share a positive story and also hear about how their colleagues are feeling. There is no format for what makes the ideal win, it is not competitive and will vary each week for everyone.
Dress down days / dress code
We all have the work section and home section in our wardrobes, and what we wear is proven to affect our personality.
Coming in wearing our home clothing brings a different feel to the office, aesthetically but also in mood, your team can express more about themselves and share more of their personal tastes.
There is an always on pressure with technology that can make taking a break appear non- committed or unfocussed. Office workers, headsets on, working long hours and only leaving their desks to visit the bathroom is not a healthy culture.
Healthy team, healthy office – a fruit box each week encourages your team to eat well, and creates another point of contact. You can encourage contribution towards choosing the content, changing the focus and have a recipe suggestion box.
Creating places where people bump into each other (not literally) is a simple and effective way to get people talking and improve morale. Chats by the watercooler are a welcome respite, and can help employee’s express ideas and feel more comfortable with one and other.
Create a space for people to eat lunch together rather than at their desk, make sure your outside spaces are designed for more than just smokers and get sofas on the landing to encourage more face to face interactions.
Lunch and learn
Use lunch breaks for a good method to help spread knowledge around your company. Ask your team what they would like to learn about and create a schedule that appeals to a wide audience.
It could be company news related, a food demonstration or a motivational speaker – using lunch hours constructively will create a buzz for the rest of the day.
Flexibility is a personal value, and should be treated on a case by case basis – some of your team might be early risers and prefer to get in at 8, others more night owls who’d like to start at 10.
If your business allows it working with these requests, your employees have a legal right to request work place flexibility but that often focusses on parents so get in there first and make it open to all within reason.