Work Culture Hacks for Employers Who Aren’t Google

Work CultureIf you neglect this ONE thing, your employees won’t care much about anything else.

And that’s work culture.

Unfortunately, about 70% of U.S. employees are disengaged, according to Gallup. As simple and tempting as it may seem, money is not the solution to attracting and maintaining talent.  89% of employers believe employees leave for money, but only 12% of employees leave for this reason.

Work culture has been in the forefront of our minds lately, especially after we posted our Culture Code on SlideShare. It appears it’s becoming increasingly popular to discuss, and for good reason. The most engaged companies give feedback consistently, are twice as productive, and bring in twice as much the revenue compared to the disengaged ones.

I know it gets intimidating when you think of the hot companies who give out MacBook Airs, money to jet the world, provide on-site massages and a world class chef. What would get your talent excited about working at small and medium sized businesses, you wonder?

Plenty of things.

With the help of my teammates, we put together an epic list of work culture tweaks you can make effective almost immediately. Take that, Google!

1) Gym membership reimbursement Encourage an active and healthy lifestyle – research shows exercise improves creativity, energy, focus and productivity – the makings of a great team! 
2) Wearable fitness tech
Run contests to see who takes the most steps. Bonus: workers get to tune into their health.
3) A company kegerator I ADORE this list of 15 crazy perks employers have to keep talent.
4) Ferris Bueller days
Allow employees to take a mental health day to explore for a change of pace (and a creativity surge!) 
5) Bonus gift cards 
Reward someone for an exceptional job done or for one of those “just because I appreciate you” moments. Here’s a neat idea: if you have a remote team, and know some of them like to go to coffee shops, you could give them a gift card to a coffee shop to cover their “rent” and keep them attending (read: productive!) They’ll sip their coffee with a grin every time.
6) A feedback jam company-wide at least once a month. Chicago’s Sandstrom Design has been noted for their “You Rock” days involving the CEO where Sandstormers share handwritten notes of praise. Aww yeah! 
7) A community service project with employee families Doing good deeds is a company-wide morale booster and allows the employees connect to the community. 
8) Making the lunch break cool! 
How about a working microwave or a nicely designed outdoor lunch space? You could help employees recharge with a nifty blender, frozen fruit and juices so they can make a fresh smoothie in-office or supply a Keurig!
9) Company outings
Those could include cookouts done on location, company softball games (Kickball? Dodgeball?), sports or field trips (museums are pretty cool)!
10) Movie exchanges
At a former workplace (he’s all ours now – score!), Jon said they would have informal occasions where workers came in to swap movies as a way to bond and learn about each other. Try books, too!
11) In-office movie nights 
Don’t forget the popcorn!
12) Game days 
Preferably board games. You know, the kind where people sit around a table looking at each other. Try “getting to know you” games like Apples to Apples or strategic games like Ticket to Ride! But video game days could be thrilling for a remote team and a way to destress.
13) Childcare (or reimburse a certain percentage) An absolute treat for parents. Enough said.
14) Weekly or monthly fresh fruit delivery
Refreshing!

Now what about our own team!?

We’re remote, but we keep the spark going by adding funny pictures or GIFs in work emails, proclaiming our love for each other on social media, surprise Amazon gift cards, homemade cookies for team meetings, and infectious enthusiasm. One of the best things I see on a daily basis is that no ideas have a hierarchy, and because of that, ideas pour in and make the future exciting.

You must have some of your own work culture hacks.

Please share!  You’re helping us create fewer ruined days.

 

Anne

Addicted to adrenaline, adventures and social media, Anne Reuss is fueled by coffee and fitness. She likes to take videos with her trusty Apple products. Being Deaf, she has super human listening skills and is always on the lookout for ways to leverage social media to improve all around communication online and offline. She is the community manager for 360Connext, a customer experience consulting firm, and a freelance writer. She can lipread but tweet her first @Anne Reuss

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