Nowadays, the workforce consists of individuals from different generations, backgrounds and personalities. With such a variety of people all wanting different things from their employer, organisations have to offer increasingly alternative benefits to stand out from competitors.
Creating a positive culture in the workplace
Professionals of today come from a range of generations and all want different things from their employers. Therefore, organisations are having to come up with increasingly innovative ways to create a corporate culture that is enticing for prospective employees, exciting enough to retain their existing workforce and paints a positive public picture of the company.
Below are a number of examples where companies have thought outside the box about how to create culture in the workplace that is positive and implemented some unique programmes to help achieve this.
Peer 1 Hosting - Web hosting firm
The European HQ for Canada’s Peer 1, based in Southampton, has been created in the form of a mini theme park. With the offices spanning three levels, staff members use a helter-skelter to meet guests in reception and there’s also a mini golf course, tree swings, dartboards and a vintage cinema. Further to the fun fair theme, employees also enjoy an indoor garden, yoga area and their very own pub. This ‘Clan culture’ environment contributes to Peer 1 as being one of the most attractive web hosting companies to work for.
AJW Aviation - Aircraft parts supplier
Employees of AJW Aviation benefit from an on-site gym and can also participate in weekly group workout sessions that are run during the working day. Beyond this focus on fitness and wellbeing, there is also a ‘games’ section in the break room with a foosball table and games consoles. Every now and then, themed group lunch days are offered, such as certain cuisines or team BBQs.
3 Mobile - Telecommunications and internet service provider
In an attempt to support their staff members’ out of work lives, 3 Mobile have a compulsory 2 hour lunch break every Wednesday, when employees are encouraged to go out and do something for their personal wellbeing. To make sure the entire workforce is out and about during this period, the senior leadership team circulate the office and check that nobody is still at their desk. This is positive as it overtly recognises and emphasises the fact that everybody has their own lives outside of the office.
Bought By Many - Insurance provider
The internal events team at Bought By Many continue to really set the bar high in terms of improving corporate culture. Quarterly events for all staff such as trips to the races or cinema, as well as more frequent themed days in the office (such as 90’s sweets themed day), act as a powerful attraction tool for the largely young workforce they have in their big call centers. They also offer free tea and coffee, biscuits, juice, fruit and other healthy snacks to all staff.
Other ways organisations are improving corporate culture
Further examples of companies improving corporate culture, that have been implemented in a number of organisations, are:
- Focus groups - Some businesses encourage employees to join groups where discussions are held about what they think works within their team and what doesn't. The team uses information gathered to improve functions, with end results improving employee satisfaction and overall happiness.
- Company drinks - Thursdays are the new Fridays and more companies are adapting by moving Friday drinks forward - this means those who are often busy on Friday evenings are able to socialise with their colleagues.
- Away days - Days out of the office can help bring multiple teams together, especially if there are regional offices based around the country. Often they involve a mix of team building activities and strategic planning but provide the perfect platform for bonding between colleagues.
- 9 day fortnights - Seen at various oil and gas companies, employees have the luxury of every 2nd Friday off. This has led many employees to work harder when they are in the office to get everything completed so they can relax over their three day weekend.
- Quiet zones - Specific areas where employees can get some peace and quiet on their lunch break.
- Office pets - A trend which has blossomed in popularity where employees are allowed to bring their pets into the workplace. Obviously this heavily depends on the nature of work and office location.
- Unlimited annual leave - Most notably implemented by Virgin, employees are given this freedom in return for full dedication when in the workplace.
- Team bonding - Lunches or evenings out when teams have successfully pitched for sales or when big campaigns have been rolled out.
It is clear that a positive company culture plays a key role in the day-to-day functioning of a business and the management of this is widely considered a critical business process. A positive culture will reduce the risk of misconduct, promote innovation within teams, enhance reputations, as well as helping with attraction and retention of talent.
Which daily perks and benefits would create your ideal corporate culture or office environment?