Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
When people sit down and think about what sort of company culture they want to achieve, or be part of, most people think about Google. The Google culture makes prospective employees want to work there. A desirable company culture isn’t just a matter of being wacky or fun or quirky or innovative. It is about maximizing productivity and collaboration. It is about being professional and looking professional. It is about empathy for your employees, customers and suppliers.
Be Empathetic Toward Your Staff: One of the greatest things about Google is the way they view their staff, and let the staff excel. For example, they allow their employees to spend 20 percent of their time working on personal projects. Of course, you may not be able to afford your workforce such an opportunity, not exactly like this, but you could allow them the freedom to use their ingenuity on side projects that benefit your company. Google ‘s passion project options is where things like Gmail and Google news came from.
Be Professional: Running a business is one thing, making your brand as professional as possible is another. What’s more, it doesn’t take a ton of money to be professional. It could be that you use virtual meeting rooms, or upgrade your telephone system using VoIP phone solutions, or have a user-friendly website. How people perceive your business is what they believe. So if they are greeted by a professional phone service, not just an automated maze, they will remember that. If they stumble across your website and fall in love with the brand, then you’re well on your way to success.
Offer Food: We know you probably can’t do what Google has done, in the sense that you don’t even have the space to have free cafeterias to offer their employees free food and drink, but you can do something. Consider buying fresh fruit for your staff to make healthy snacks available. These could be protein bars or nuts or breakfast bars. Do breakfast or lunch once a week or once a month. Not only will this let them know they are valued, but it will stimulate their minds with foods packed with energy.
Lounge Areas: When you think about Google’s offices, you think about all of the perks that they offer their employees. They have recuperation pods, and areas you can grab a quick nap, or places you can go to have your creative spark reignited. We’re not suggesting you can mimic this, but having area with some neat Ikea furniture and freshly painted walls could go a long way in giving your employees somewhere to relax, share ideas, bond and communicate. All of this will create a healthy vibe in the office.