Article by Elli Bishop of BusinessBee.
Startups offer an exciting vibe and the potential for major career growth, but working at a fledgling company is notoriously demanding. As you’re getting your business off the ground, it can be tricky to balance your employees’ intense work load with motivation that keeps them happy, engaged and industrious. We’re here to help.
We’ve collected five budget friendly ways to foster a company culture that values hard work (and plenty of play), while creating an environment that boosts productivity and your bottom line.
1. Beat the Monday morning blues with breakfast.
Monday mornings aren’t as tough when they include a free, hot breakfast. Assemble your crew over a morning meal and for a minimal investment you’ll help your employees learn more about your business, discover more about one another, and gain a better understand of each other’s role.
Begin by sharing company news. Then ask that each person share something about their weekend and reveal what they’re working on during the upcoming week. You might even consider incorporating an out-of-the-box teambuilding game, like those offered by The Go Game.
2. Exploit common interests.
Encouraging your staff to share activities outside the cubical will strengthen their relationship back at the office. A recent employee engagement survey by the Australian Institute of Management discovered that those who said they were committed to their job named a “good relationship with co-workers” as their number one reason why. Salary came in at number seven.
Learn what interests your team members have in common and then create a monthly event that brings the crew together. Maybe your staff has a mutual interest in the outdoors. After a week of hard charging, plan a company-wide morning hike, an afternoon picnic, or a casual bike ride along a local trail.
3. Encourage collaboration.
A startup’s intense workload often means chatting is frowned upon. But conversation can lead to collaboration that solves problems, saves money and ignites innovation. Offering employees open workspaces that break with tradition is a great way to get them sharing ideas. And because no one is hiding behind a closed door or a cubical, an open workspace encourages staff to stay on task.
A fun round of Ping Pong or a competitive game of foosball is another way to get your team talking. Let staff enjoy regular “game breaks,” and they’ll head back to their desk revived and inspired. Want more ideas? Consider some of the unique recreation activities the recruitment and consulting company Recsolu offers its employees.
4. Be do-gooders.
Your company is just getting off the ground; it’s the perfect time to think about what social responsibility means to your business. Survey your team and find out what social projects they’d like to see your startup get involved with. Doing so not only shows that you value their ideas, it fosters team building by committing to a common goal.
Plan a company-wide event every quarter that supports your social project and offer staff occasional time off to lend a hand to the cause.
5. Have a monthly show and tell.
When the atmosphere in your office is getting especially intense, it’s time for show-and-tell. Whether it’s planned well in advance or it’s completely impromptu, a round of show-and-tell is certain to infuse your office with a chuckle. Show-and-tell also helps your staff learn more about one another, discovering common interests, and forge friendships.
As a startup, you could be working with a pint-sized budget. The good news is, creating a company culture that values hard work and play doesn’t have to break the bank. Which of these innovative and inexpensive ideas are you most likely to try?
About Elli Bishop
Elli is a writer for BusinessBee, where you can discover and compare business service providers for your small business.