The number one thing that I look for in a company is culture. Personally I’ve always found it depressing that day-in-day out we work the same hours at the same desk. What makes April 14th of this year different from April 14th of next year? Therefore something has to break this cycle. Company culture offers a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Not everyone is blessed enough to be doing something they love, and even if you love what you’re doing there is inevitably some routine to it all with is boring.
Creating a family in the workplace makes workers feel more socially responsible to everyone in the office, and indirectly feel a closer tie to their work. One could argue themed lunches and company bowling outings are a waste of funds. True, funds are being used, but instead of viewing these funds as “wasted” instead view them as an “investment.” One large important impact that our company outings have had on me is they help retain me. I may have a rough week every now and then where I get tossed a bunch of projects I’m not too fond of, thanks to our company outings I get a chance to remember why I started working here. It’s at those outings I form relationships with coworkers that help me overcome the bad weeks. Employee retention is a strong reason to consider putting more company culture events on your calendar.
If employee retention isn’t reason enough, studies have found that creating a strong company culture has a high financial payoff. In a way aren’t your employees your customers? What they tell their friends about the products or services offered really makes a difference. One of my favorite parts of working at Highly Relevant is that friends are encouraged to come to company happy hours. It really is fun introducing coworkers to friends, we’ve all started finding ourselves taking fitness classes together or going out in a group.
To give you some ideas of company culture boosting activities, here are a few:
- Bowling Alleys
- Watching Sports Games, on TV or at the game
- Pilates Class
- Salsa Class
- Fantasy Football Leagues
- Simply tuning into the same show and discussing it in the office the next day at staff meetings
- Holiday themed potlucks
- Training sessions with free lunches where everyone teaches each other a unique skill (work or non-work related). You can even use Power Points as content on your company’s website if they are work-related.
- Basketball Game
- Cooking Class
- Company contest to see who can drive the most traffic or sales to a client’s site with a specific promo code