“Company culture” is one of the hottest buzzwords in the business game today. As much as we talk about it, a welcoming company culture is often severely misunderstood. Many business leaders believe it’s a fully stocked breakroom or employee awards at holiday parties. While those are great, they don’t get at the root of why a good culture matters. And, there’s an almost too easy way to inject a better culture into your company. According to a 2019 CNBC report, 75% of U.S. workers said morale would improve if their managers just said “Thank you.” That’s it. A simple recognition for a job well done is what most employees are looking for.
As we hit the season of reflection and gratitude, make saying thank you a must for your company. Inspired by our friends at Balanced Careers, here are a few ways you can keep it genuine. (Notice how saying thank you is a biggie for them, too!)
Nothing says “I trust you” and “thank you” more than creating opportunities for greater flexibility in scheduling. This can look like a number of scenarios. For instance, you may not be able to offer remote work, but you could allow flexible start times. Provide a time range for when employees need to start work each day. This could benefit working parents, early risers, and those fighting traffic to work.
Studies show that by doing so, you can increase retention, engagement, and productivity. It shouldn’t be a surprise! When you give your employees the power to design their workday to fit their needs, you foster greater efficiency.
Start A New Tradition
If your holiday parties are getting a little stale, this is the idea for you. As we learned the past 2 years, what was “normal” doesn’t have to be the only way we function. Why not start a new tradition to inspire your employees? This can come in many forms and work with many scenarios.
If you’re in an office with athletic people, arrange yearly or quarterly team hikes. This will get your team moving and encourage greater connection and teamwork. For the foodie-focused office, try a monthly catered lunch or request a food truck to visit your office. (Make this even more impactful by paying for everyone’s meal or appetizers! That’s an easy way to say thank you to your team!) Everyone will love trying something new, and you can support local businesses.
And if your company is more civic-minded, consider supporting a local charity once each quarter. Select the nonprofit you want to help and spend the day volunteering or collecting donations for them! If you want greater employee engagement, consider asking them to nominate charities. Your team will appreciate the consideration, and you just might create a greater support system for an employee in need, which is a true thank you.
Provide More Training
Again, this can be carried out in a number of ways, but let’s start with the why. How does providing more training show you appreciate your employees? The answer is in their confidence. Another CNBC report found that 94% of employees would stay with their company if it invested in their knowledge and skills. Employees want to feel as though you are invested in what they can provide to the company. This can start at the hire date, but it should continue. It’s an ongoing way to say thank you for their hard work and willingness to grow.
Start by investing in platforms that offer online training opportunities, like MasterClass or LinkedIn Learning. These digital tools allow employees to learn at their own pace. (Create modules if you want to facilitate completion of these programs.) These platforms also have learning opportunities outside a specific industry. This means employees can find and learn about other interests!
If you want to create greater team dynamics, look into lifestyle and business workshops. Inquire with local dietitians to talk to your team about healthy eating habits while working in an office or provide a presentation on how to utilize counseling benefits. You can cater these opportunities to what your employees want. Simply asking them will guide your choices.
Say Thank You Today, Enjoy Happy Employees Tomorrow
Employee satisfaction goes beyond the perfect company culture. It’s a continually evolving process that involves more than the bare minimum. However, if you put in the effort today to show appreciation to them, they will genuinely give it back. The result will be happy employees, happier customers, and a growing business.