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Creating a culture of joy

“We have Ping-Pong tables!”
“We provide free coffee in the break room!”
“We allow a casual dress code!”

Several years ago, those phrases were the norm for companies trying to promote the belief that their company culture was top-notch and unmatched. Now, we see companies who still promote these perks and we tend to roll our eyes. Why is that? Because people don’t really care about Ping-Pong tables or free coffee in the break room—they want a culture that benefits them as much as it does your company.

Whether you realize it or not, your company’s culture weaves its way through everything your company does—from the color of your office walls and the applications you use, to the employees you hire and whether they want to stick around or stampede toward the exit.

So, how do you make your office a place that’s actually fun to work? Let’s start by defining culture.

What is culture?

Simply put, culture is the collective beliefs and behaviors of a group. It determines how leaders and employees within a company interact and conduct business. And that has a direct correlation to how successful your business is. After all, it’s your business’s people who matter the most—the ones who make your company run and do the day-to-day work. Not only does a strong and healthy culture benefit your company financially, it also leads to happier and more engaged employees. In fact, there are several benefits to having a joyful culture: 

1. You’ll attract great talent

Your company wants to attract the best of the best, so you have to stand out from the crowd. You can do this by offering an irresistible culture. Happy employees enjoy their work, want your company to succeed and—bonus—want to help recruit other like-minded individuals. 

2. You’ll save time and money in recruiting

Hiring and training new employees is expensive compared to retaining current employees. And if your company experiences high turnover due to a toxic environment, you’re throwing money down the drain. A strong culture keeps outstanding employees and inspires them to bring on other power performers as well.

3. You’ll make everyone happier and more satisfied

A healthy culture keeps employees happy. When your team feels seen, valued and heard, they’re more engaged in their work. And it doesn’t stop there—it extends beyond your employees and out to your clients. 

4. You’ll maintain and retain more clients

Employees who experience a joyful culture want to stick around, and they serve your clients better. They provide an unmatched client experience and ensure that their interactions with clients are consistent with your company’s values and mission. This type of experience reduces churn.

Culture is built on four pillars—clarity, candor, connection and consistency—that greatly influence 

the mindset and well-being of employees. Let’s talk about how each one impacts your company culture.

Clarity

Clarity is the awareness of your company’s mission, vision and values (i.e., the “who, what, how and why”). It not only includes knowing who you serve, what you sell and how services are delivered, but it’s also your team knowing their specific roles in that process and how their success is measured. Achieve clarity by setting clear expectations and including your team so they know they’re an essential part of your business.

Candor

While candor can be the most challenging to attain, it’s the most important pillar in a healthy culture. Companies must allow space for all employees to offer honest perspectives without repercussions for any negative feedback. Be intentional about communicating with your team members—both in a group and individually—on a regular basis so they can share their experiences (both good and bad). Listen to their feedback so you can make suggested improvements that will keep your company culture on track.

Connection

Connection occurs when team members feel seen, heard and valued. Be sure to acknowledge them through intentional communication. Create an environment that allows them to thrive, because employees who feel engaged and connected work harder. Find a team member who cares about the people they work with; the one who cheers on others, remembers birthdays or organizes a collection for flowers when there’s an illness or death in the family, and have them lead the way to help your team feel connected.

Consistency

Consistency is key when it comes to a healthy culture. You must take consistent strides to create clarity, build candor and establish connections within your company. Be sure to dedicate time following through—consistently—when it comes to meeting with your team, acknowledging a job well done and keeping your team engaged. It will take some time to make this second nature, but making small, incremental changes will get you there.

Be joyful

You can’t snap your fingers and make a healthy culture appear out of thin air. Make sure you focus intentionally on implementing clarity, candor, connection and consistency to create a joyful culture. Talk to your team, find out what is and isn’t working, and take steps to create the workplace no one wants to leave. 

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