Nurturing Your Business Culture

Nurturing Your Business Culture

By Suzanne Duval d'Adrian

For some companies July marks the end of the fiscal year, but for most it’s mid-year. It’s the perfect time to take a closer look at how those goals you set in January are working within your culture.

We all get caught up in day-to-day meetings, emails and dealings. It’s easy to do. But once in a while, we need to come up for air, look around and take stock. Changing your work day up a bit can help you create a culture that is both enjoyable and productive. 

Consider these questions:

Are you closer to achieving the work goals you set in January than you were in April?

Every January 1st, millions of people set resolutions for the year ahead. Businesses are no different. Sales targets are established, revenue goals are set and initiatives are announced. Sadly, just like the 22% of Americans who have reneged on their vows just 6 days into the new year, businesses fall victim to the same fate.

Now’s the time to reassess and, if it makes sense, adopt more achievable goals that feel manageable for the entire team. If expectations are too high, the group may start to feel overwhelmed and over-stressed. It’s not really worth tanking the group morale and pushing team members to the brink of insanity, is it?

Have you checked in with your team?

Maintaining a sense of relationship with your employees and team members is crucial. The question to ask is not only are they living up to your expectations but more importantly, are you living up to theirs? The employer – employee relationship is just that, a relationship. It’s a continuous give and take founded on shared goals, respect and trust. In fact, most employees are more stressed out than their manager counterparts.

Does your culture emphasize well-being for everyone?

Strong employee morale means much more than smiling faces around an office. It’s essential to productivity and your team functioning in unison. With an increased awareness of wellness, employees are seeking to become more proactive by taking breaks away from the desk, limiting the amount of time they spend checking email and even completely disconnecting when they’re not in the office.

If email is ruling your day and causing stress, encourage everyone to check emails fewer times throughout the day. This will help them to feel more in control and balanced. The notification window or taskbar icon for an email program can be a great source of distraction. If you're able to concentrate on big tasks without a lot of interruptions, you'll feel good about what you've been able to accomplish.

Of the 1,023 employees polled in a late 2012 study, only 19% said that they almost always leave the desk for lunch. That means that the overwhelming majority of those asked usually ate at their desk or rarely took the break. Encouraging employees to take a short hiatus from their desks can only help — studies have shown improvements in creativity, increased focus, reduced stress and renewed energy levels. It’s something we’ve been putting into practice in the Enrich studio. We’ve banned eating lunch at our desks and brought comfortable shoes so we can step outside for a few minutes. Forbes has a great article that lists 14 Things You Should Do On Your Lunch Break Every Day.