Because doing so boosts employees’ enthusiasm and improves your office environment.
Long, crazy hours spent in close quarters. It’s a situation that can provoke stress in employees instantly. But it’s also the nature of event planning.
Curran launched his event production company, Endless Entertainment, in 2007 in
Tempe, Ariz., he knew he needed a company culture that could ease tension in an
unavoidably stressful situation. Curran stresses his company’s core values—such
as energy, fun and creativity—to his employees at staff meetings before every
boosts are needed, he directs employees to these
values on his website. For
those who follow it, Curran rewards his 21 employees generously—the last incentive
sent the top six performers to Disneyland for two days in March.
If the story
of your company culture isn’t as cheery, don’t panic. Here are three common
problems that small business owners experience with company culture and how to
The problem: Your employees don’t understand
your company vision.
The solution: Be more transparent.
TINYpulse measures employee engagement for companies around the world. Joyce
Zhou, the company’s communications manager, says a company study shows
transparency trumps all other factors in determining employee engagement, which
in turn affects employees’ understanding of company vision.
small business owners should incorporate information about budget, customer
feedback, strategic plans and more into regular staff meetings.
Zalcberg, CEO of OFM, a mid-size office- and school-furniture manufacturer,
distributor and wholesaler in Holly Springs, N.C., found a different way to be
internal suggestion box showed nearly 70 percent of employees wanted to know
more about the company, he launched an internal “university program.” The
classes—which focus on subjects such as shipping, sales and core values—are
typically held monthly. They have helped departments understand the company, from
new products to corporate philosophy, outside of their own departments, Zalcberg
The problem: Your company’s values have
gotten lost as it has grown bigger.
The solution: Keep your mission top of mind.
record what employee traits, office environment and work protocols support the
culture you desire. Share this information with staff, and screen job
Cole, co-founder and CEO of Blink UX, a Seattle research and design firm, faced
this challenge when her company grew 287 percent in the past three years. “What
used to be tribal knowledge and an assumed way of doing things went out the
window at about 10 people,” Cole says. “We had to develop processes and systems
for keeping our work quality extremely high, which is one of the foundations of
The problem: Your employees feel their
opinions and ideas aren’t valued.
The solution: Rethink your company’s
can create a more vibrant, energetic organization where everyone is engaged.
California-based consultants Stewart Liff and Paul Gustavson, authors of A Team of Leaders: Empowering Every Member
to Take Ownership, Demonstrate Initiative, and Deliver Results, say you can
create a team of leaders by giving employees more responsibility and involving
them integrally in the way the company operates.
letting them weigh in on goals, planning, scheduling and performance
management. This process takes commitment and patience—but the payback can be
substantial, Liff and Gustavson say. You’ll have more time and energy to focus
on higher-level work, and your staff will be happier, more productive and
committed to the company.