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These companies are revamping their workplace culture in 2018

Published by: LifeWorks,

The beginning of a new year is an ideal time to re-examine all areas of your life, including work. And in 2018, one of the best areas to focus on will be workplace culture.

Culture impacts so many aspects of your business, from employee satisfaction to productivity to staff churn. While it sounds daunting, improving your culture is not that difficult when you can refer to how other employers are achieving this.

Instead of reinventing the wheel, look for tactics and strategies you can implement. Here’s a look at what some companies are doing to revamp their workplace culture for 2018:

Active workspaces

Some may think standing desks and walking meetings are just fads or trendy tactics to recruit millennials. But the numbers suggest it’s not just a trend — it’s a necessity.

The advent of active workplaces is a reaction to ‘sitting disease,’ a common term used to refer to the terrible health effects of an overly sedentary lifestyle.

According to a 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, sitting for excessively long periods of time is a risk factor for early death. For this reason, employers are creating workspaces that encourage more activity.

Betsey Banker, wellness manager at Ergotron, a leading provider of sit-stand workstations and ergonomic technology, suggested more organizations are going to be transitioning to active workspaces in 2018.

According to Banker, workspaces are going beyond open and closed concepts. Employers now need to look at all the workplace elements that impact employee well-being. When you provide more ergonomic solutions, like standing desks and computer glasses, your employees will feel more engaged and improve the quality of their overall health.

Tip: Develop a workstation assessment tool and give each employee’s workstation a grade. Look at monitors, desk chairs, desk height, lighting, mouse and keyboard placement, and other aspects. Then, invest in new equipment.

Workplace culture teams

William Vanderbloemen, founder and CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, a church staffing company, is experiencing the best kind of problem — his company is growing. However, as a company grows, it becomes more difficult to preserve the workplace culture.

To keep their culture alive, they’re creating a culture team of culture ambassadors, comprised of seven employees representing each department. The ambassadors are in charge of carrying the company’s vision, values, and culture to their own teams.

Darren Schreher, digital manager for online apparel companies INTO THE AM and iHeartRaves, is also creating roles solely to address workplace culture. For instance, he created a ‘director of happiness’ role. This full time employee is primarily responsible for employee engagement and morale.

Tip: Create culture-specific roles and form your own culture team. When you encourage employees to start building workplace culture and boosting engagement, you will see improvements in satisfaction as well.

Employees will no longer see culture initiatives as stuffy corporate mandates. Instead, they will see their colleagues engaging in important culture-building activities and feel more interested in participating.

Themed retreats

It’s always fun to get out of the office from time to time. This is why Holly Harper, director of marketing atsparkspace, a corporate business venue, likes to make retreats a regular practice.

“By taking a staff retreat to an offsite venue once per quarter, as opposed to once a year, we not only encourage bonding and team cohesion,” she said, “but also these retreats allow us to get creative by mixing things up.”

Every quarter, sparkspace employees attend a retreat centered around a different theme and objective, such as:

  • Visioning – What do they want to achieve this year as a business and as a team?
  • Team Bonding – Let loose and have fun while celebrating the little wins accomplished so far this year.
  • Half-time Strategy – A check-in to see if their vision for the year is becoming a reality. Do they need to pivot on any plans as a team?
  • Philanthropy – A team bonding philanthropic effort that allows the whole company to give back.

Tip: When creating retreats, tailor your themes and goals to your workplace culture. For example, if you work for a sports company, host an outing that includes live sporting events or team sport activities.

New Business Days

Cristian Rennella, vice president of HR and co-founder of oMelhorTrato.com, a credit and insurance shopping platform based in South America, wanted to give his employees a chance to come together. In 2018, he plans on testing ‘new business days.’ This brings everyone from every department together once a month to brainstorm ideas to grow the business.

“These days give our team the freedom to create and collaborate without having the usual work responsibilities, which is essential for focusing on a single goal — bringing in new business,” he said. “We want to show that thinking as a team we can grow the company and also strengthen the culture of communication and teamwork between all areas ”

Tip: Set goals for your new business days and provide agendas beforehand. This way, employees come prepared and know what topics they need to address.

Bringing your team together is important because it shows that everyone plays a big role in advancing your company mission. And there’s no better way to start the new year off than fostering an environment that encourages relationship building.

Make your employees feel loved