Companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon have set up alternative work cultures, with food and exercise in place. They are regularly called some of the best places to work by their employees, and success gurus everywhere study their methods. So what can small businesses learn from these uber-successful tech giants? And how can they implement similar ideas without breaking the bank? Here's what you need to know:
Working culture issues:
According to the World Health Organization, we spend about one third of our lives at work. You don't have to be a genius to know that it's a lot of time. Not surprisingly, companies that care about keeping employees happy during all these hours tend to do better. Happy employees are more productive, stay longer and benefit the bottom line more. Fortunately, you don't have to be the CEO of Google or Facebook to make your business a great place to work.
Listen to data:
Major technical companies are looking at using data and doing what works. So don't be fooled that they have created whimsical workplaces with lots of benefits right there for that. Any permanent workplace innovation in these locations is supported by data that shows that it works. Smaller companies can follow up with collecting both qualitative and quantitative information about which workplace changes employees want, and which ones actually work in the long term. So if you want to improve the culture of your business, don't leave it to chance.
Ideas to steal:
Designing the space: The design of a workplace can improve the mood, cooperation, and even increase productivity, so don't leave it to chance. But don't assume that what works for a successful business will be right for you, either. Arrange your space to support the type of work that needs to be done.
- Nourish your workers: Having access to food (free or for purchase) not only provides fuel for getting things done. If it is paired with regular eating places, it can also facilitate collaboration, new ideas, binding.
- Encourage fun: Companies like Google take gaming time seriously and provide real toys like Legos and PacMan as well as many tools and spaces to encourage creativity and innovation. Encourage your employees to have fun at work and consider the role of fun in your workouts, meetings, and duties.
Bottom line: It's not about the free snacks.
The Silicon Valley workplace culture often makes headlines because of its unusual policies or benefits, but it's not really what it does well. Both employers and employees of these companies would say that what is most urgent is the principles behind the policy. Take steps to show your employees that their health and happiness at work is important to you, and you will have the conditions for a good workplace culture, no matter what your resources.
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