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If you want your business to be a place where people would love to work, you should focus on your company’s culture. A startup’s culture should be something that isn’t just stated; it’s engrained into your vision, mission and purpose. If you’ve focused on outward growth and expansion, it’s time to look internally. Here are five ways you can revamp your startup’s culture in 2018, making employees want to work for and stay loyal to your business.
- Be open and honest
One way you can revamp your small business culture is to open your doors and be honest with your employees. Allow employees to take a half-day or work from home if they are dealing with personal matters. Let them know that they can come to you with concerns, ideas or questions. Encourage their innovation and show your appreciation for their hard work. If big changes happen within the company, fill them in once you’ve ironed out all the details. It’s better that they’re told of the changes by you personally, rather than through the rumor mill.
- Invest in employee wellness
Wellness programs have grown in popularity among larger businesses, and if you want to attract top talent, you might want to consider implementing some of your own (55 percent of job seekers will take a lower paying job if the benefits are good enough). You can offer wellness programs in a variety of ways, which can also save on your budget. Partner up with local fitness centers for discounts on classes or offer in-house workout classes. You can also focus on helping employees’ mental health by offering yoga or meditation classes.
- Crack down on bad behavior
If you have employees who are extremely talented but who are also unkind about it, it’s time to crack down on their behavior. Too often, businesses play into the idea of top performers, but that can lead to tolerating otherwise unacceptable behavior, tension and aggression between coworkers and unnecessary competition. Open your doors for employees to come forward with concerns, and address these concerns seriously. A strong team that works together and watches out for each other is better than a team with one or two top performing employees and multiple discouraged and unhappy employees.
- Let your employees work remotely
Ninety-one percent of employees working remotely hope to continue to do so, with hybrid work being the preference, according to a Gallup poll. While you don’t have to let employees work from home every day, allow them to do so if they need to (weather conditions, long commutes, not feeling well, etc.). Remote work can save your startup some money, with studies showing that businesses save an average of $20K a year for these remote employees. These businesses also saw a 22 percent increase in productivity and a 50 percent fall in employee turnover.
- Make your startup a place people want to work for
Your employees should enjoy working at your startup, and other entrepreneurs should want to work with you. It’s not probable to make every minute of every day exciting or fun. However, consider offering a variety of perks, big or small, to boost morale, productivity and efficiency in your business. You can offer outdoor workspaces, a game room, massage chairs or free snacks, casual days and every-so-often catered lunches.
Your company’s culture is an essential part of your employees’ happiness and productivity. While your culture may say it’s collaborative, exciting and fun, it’s more than just words; you need to live that culture. These five efforts can help you revamp your startup’s culture this year to help attract and keep great talent.
Originally published on Jan. 26, 2018.