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Building a business that’s known for being a happy and positive place to work will attract skilled workers. Having a flexible culture will attract people from more diverse backgrounds, this can only benefit the company by widening the perspectives of the team. We all know that feeling safe and looked out for at work boosts confidence and productivity, and will certainly lower incidences of stress-related time off. And let’s be honest, everyone wants to be part of a company that has decided to blaze a trail with it’s fun, modern approach to working life. At citrusHR we believe investing time in a positive culture will do as much good for your sales and recruitment as it does for your staffs’ wellbeing.  

8 Culture hacks to help start-ups and small businesses build a fantastic and positive culture

Whilst we all hold the responsibility to strive for good communication, respect and professionalism –  managers have an important role to play as leaders. Here are our top ideas for retaining a shiny, happy workforce! 

1) Lay the foundations by sharing a clear vision statement:

People like to know that the job they’re doing is making a difference. A clear vision statement about where the company is headed and how it will make the world a better place will help your employees buy into whatever it is the company is selling. Food and drink multi-national Nestle recently incorporated this idea into their DNA, making ‘articulating values to employees’ a part of their new HR strategy. 

2) Communication is key! Make sure everyone knows your company’s policies.

For a great workplace culture, managers need to go further than just pointing out anti-harassment and equal opportunities policies; communicate them regularly, explain the behaviours that are unacceptable and highlight how important it is to consider how actions may be perceived. Urge employees to be respectful and considerate in their interactions with each other. 

#TAKEACTION Review your Harassment Prevention Policy and confirm that it accurately identifies who to contact and how to report claims of inappropriate conduct. Small businesses may consider having an alternative “anonymous” phone number for reporting to as opposed to reporting to the only senior in a small company.

3)  Only hire glass half fulls

Positive emotions are as contagious the negative ones. People’s relationships improve when surrounded by positive people, in turn, this fosters more collaboration and team spirit, safeguarding against stressful situations A culture of positivity also helps to improve employee resiliency in dealing with challenges (in and out of work) and boosts their general well-being; a total win-win. 

Zappos begin with a “cultural fit” interview, carrying half the weight as to whether a candidate will be hired.   Brand values are instilled in every team member and salary raises come from employees passing skills tests and demonstrating increased capability.   They have a budget dedicated to employee team building and promotion of culture – they’ve found this makes for happy employees, which ultimately leads to happy customers.

Click here for more info on recruitment. 

4) Create an open-door policy.

Encourage interaction between all employees, whatever their level or role. Managers can ask staff for their opinion, and take on-board what they have to say, in turn employees will feel listened to and valued. 

Facebook operate a notorious “open office” – meaning there are no cubicles or divisions between employees. Even Mark Zuckerberg works alongside the team. Whilst this may be an extreme, the thinking behind it works – the approach has been successful at promoting a sense of team spirit. 
5)  Don’t be a jobsworth.

Another idea championed by Facebook is to allow flexible working. Where possible it can be good to adopt a flexible attitude to working hours. 

Flexible working hours

Flexibility, such as allowing employees to work from home and have varied work hours to fit around family commitments (instead of being forced to stick to the traditional 9-5), is rapidly becoming the norm, not just a perk. One in four employees report having big problems balancing their work and family life and find this a source of stress (which can in turn impact productivity).  Providing a flexible work culture  can help recruit and keep top employees.  

6)  Keep your peeps in the know

American supermarket “Whole Foods“ has been one of  FORTUNE  magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work for” every year since the list began in 1998.  

Employees may not realise the good that a company is doing behind closed doors. Keeping them informed about exciting new changes or new horizons will help them stay engaged in the company and feel more positive about the future. Be honest and open with your employees.  

Values matter

There are countless stories of team members at Whole Foods who are now playing leading roles – they started out bagging groceries and stocking shelves! High staff turnover is a costly and time-consuming affair (particularly so if you haven’t yet discovered the joys of HR software); by retaining staff who feel involved in the company you can free up time and energy for daily operations or growing the business.  

7)  Shower them with praise!

Simple but effective! Employees who are recognised for their work, feel appreciated, in turn increasing engagement and productivity. Reward systems and thanks for a job well done go a long way, costing a mere few words and a few minutes – but have a hugely positive domino effect! 

It’s never too late to create a better workplace culture, whilst it’s said that the world lacks inspiring leaders right now, our workplaces don’t have to. Be part of the solution!

 Building a positive culture

CitrusHR help take the pain out of HR admin with an affordable software solution that’s made for small businesses. Freeing up your time and energy to think about bigger things.  

If this sounds helpful for now, or in the future, please do get in touch with us on 0333 444 0165 or email help@citrushr.com to chat with one of our qualified HR consultants today. 

Further reading on the web >> 

A whole website about how to build and sustain more energised teams.

The prolific “Time’s up now” campaign page, click here to read about how positive work culture can help protect against potential incidents of sexual harassment.