Easy and Effective Ways to Create a Thriving Workplace
By Burke Cueny,
Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Alliance Franchise Brands
A successful business is built on the employees who work for it. Every good owner, in the sign business or otherwise, knows that a happy workplace makes for better teamwork, which naturally will translate into improved sales. Growing the top line requires more than focusing on sales, marketing, and customer service. Overlooking or avoiding your internal setting can result in disillusionment and, what's more, poor morale. Creating a work environment that is engaging, challenging, and efficient, not to mention, pleasing to the eye, will foster positivity and energize your staff.
Our business is signs. We literally pave the way for communication. And sometimcs, we need to make our own "signs" to guide the team in the right direction and toward a common goal. Cafeteria and break room messaging is one way to communicate company values and goals.
Internal newsletters can be used, not only to advertise company news, but also to announce an Employee of the Month, introduce new hires and share birthdays, births, and achievements.
For larger companies, a staff directory puts faces to names-and a group photo can make everyone feel like they're an important part of the team.
If you have new additions to the company, make sure they have a buddy or mentor that they can rely on in those first few weeks to show them the ropes. The more everyone knows about each other and their personalities, the more it builds mutual respect and trust.
The sign industry is hands on. Why not channel that element into special, employee-only events? Set aside an afternoon or full day just to connect on a level that is outside of work. Retreats, company volunteer days, indoor rock climbing, or obstacle courses reveal individual strengths that otherwise go unseen in the office. Murder mystery dinners and softball games implore employees to use teamwork to problem solve.
Also, don't brush off the power of a great special guest. Inviting someone like a motivational speaker, a noted author in your field, or even a comedian can inspire your employees to think outside the box.
Whether it's a holiday party or a spirit day, themed events can create a sense of community and comradcry. These arc special days that reward employees for their hard work and commitment. Hosting a barbecue, an ugly sweater contest, chili competition, or pot luck are all opportunities to celebrate the company's achievements.
We are in the sign and graphics business-Let it show' Embellish the office with pictures from its founding, wall-graphics, your logo and corporate colors, photos of your employees, inspirational quotes-create a mural! Infuse energy and whimsy into lifeless walls. Your decor should reflect your values, which shouldn't be anything less than encouraging.
This one is easy. Providing a workspace that is clean and organized can significantly cut back on stress. Having all your office supplies in one place and a spotless breakroom is a basic office place must. Go the extra mile - offer special coffees during the holidays, keep a refrigerator stocked with water and provide "real" dish ware and cut· lery. Empower, respect and appreciate: The idea is to create an envi.ronment and a \'\'Ork ulifestylen that applauds your staff, brings them together as a team, and positively impacts the bottom line.
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime."
- Babe Ruth