I’ve always believed businesses that encourage play are the ones where the best people do their best work. Employees love to work hard when they also get to play hard.
From celebrating the big things to enjoying the little things, building a strong company culture that inspires both teamwork and friendly competition isn’t rocket science and needn't deplete revenues. The golden rule of building a happy culture with an “at your service” attitude from day one is simple: If this wasn’t your company, would you want to work here?
1. Recognize milestones and achievements. Letting people know they are important is one of the biggest components to a thriving, concierge-style culture. When employees feel like meaningless cogs, their work is unlikely to matter to them and they soon look for a job that’s interesting and fulfilling.
Honoring wins and milestones improves morale by encouraging the person recognized and showing team members that important events are noticed and praised in the workplace. We celebrate every employee’s birthday with a special dessert and poster, in addition to posting photos of the office party to our social accounts. We also celebrate work anniversaries by giving employees custom pairs of shoes complete with Utility Concierge signature green.
2. Meetings employees look forward to. Our company has a scoreboard meeting every week to praise wins, discuss ideas and explore ways we can keep improving services. We make sure our communication is transparent to empower employees to participate in discussions that help the company grow.
Tracking statistics fosters accountability and leadership. Employees look forward to these meetings as a time to get together and learn what’s going on, but there’s another reason employees are impatient for these meetings: Free food! Before each meeting, we grab a bite together and enjoy a catered lunch from our favorite local food joints.
3. Make social media social again. Lots of social media accounts are crowded with business-only updates and industry articles. Though we do use social accounts to market our business, we also make them about our team. From posting facts to chew on (Did you know the Earth receives more energy from the sun in an hour than the entire world uses in one year?) to questions that get people talking (If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?), our social media accounts engage clients and employees alike.
4. Sometimes, you have to cut loose. Making a spoof video may not sound very corporate, but filming one definitely brought our team together—and made everyone from employees to clients and partners smile!
Blowing away clients with incredible customer service makes our staff happy, which is why we chose to shoot a spoof of “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. Props included everything from fedoras to scooter bikes, superhero costumes to oversized hair bows, banana getups to pet unicorns. We hit some Dallas landmarks and got down with our staff, friends, family and kids, then posted the video to our social accounts and started laughing all over again.
5. Play to win. Lots of our employees are sports fans. Instead of crushing the impulse to check scores, we embrace the love of the game as something to make work extra exciting. We have two fantasy football teams that huddle up at the end of every summer to form teams and make picks. Team progress is tracked on a board throughout the season so everyone can catch the fever and watch for who’s winning.
Fantasy leagues are an easy way to bring workers together, encourage a team spirit that’s contagious throughout the workplace and give people something to look forward to. Best of all, the total cost of starting a fantasy league is $0.
6. Spotlight partners with special company cultures. Our business relies on local partners to thrive, so we spend a lot of time visiting realtors and other real estate groups to stay in touch. When we meet with a group that has a fantastic culture, such as our friends at Halo Group Realty who added a Ping-Pong table in the middle of their sleek offices, we spotlight it on our social media pages.
Amazing culture is inspiring. When you recognize positive businesses that embrace unique culture, your own employees feel a boost as well.
7. Get out of the office—together. Everyone needs an escape now and then. Planning company events gives the team something to look forward to. We’ve sponsored local realtor golf tournaments, rooted for the home team at football games, chowed down at food truck parties, hit the pavement in charity runs and, of course, filmed the occasional spoof video.
Gathering the crew outside of the office in a casual atmosphere makes it easy for people to get to know one another and form new memories while having fun. Outings don’t have to break the bank, just be something everyone is interested in.