Focus on the Forum: Building a Winning Culture – It’s More than a Pay Raise

Focus on the Forum is a regular guest column where a representative of the Women’s Enterprise Forum shares insights on topics for which they are Subject Matter Experts. The Forum is comprised of WBENC-Certified WBEs who represent the voice of all women's business enterprises and engage in networking and development activities with other WBEs, member corporations and government entities. Join their meeting on March 20th in New Orleans during the Summit & Salute and on June 19th in Las Vegas at the National Conference & Business Fair.


Building a Winning Culture – It’s More than a Pay Raise

Have you ever taken a step back to assess your company’s culture? According to Deloitte, research shows that culture has become one of the most important facets of retaining top talent in the workplace and is an iconic element for job seekers.  Culture is a complex phenomenon based on a set of behaviors, values, artifacts, reward systems and rituals that make up your organization. As soon as you step foot into an office space, culture becomes evident by employee behavior, enthusiasm and the space itself. It can be defined as “what happens when nobody is looking”.  Company culture is pre-existing, it’s not a trait that an employee brings to the table, it’s the DNA that runs the business. More and more companies are making it a key factor in the retention and attraction of top tier talent. It’s more than health insurance or a pay raise, it’s about designing a culture that results in an engaging environment where visitors feel the energy and employees are empowered to succeed. Here are some ideas to enhance company culture and boost morale in your workplace.

Design an Aesthetically Appeasing Environment

The way a workspace is designed to accommodate the needs of employees can tremendously impact company culture. There has been drastic change in the world of workplace design. The traditional desk and chair in a high paneled cubicle with minimal color is on the downward spiral while collaborative, flexible and multipurpose workspaces accompanied by bright pops of color and increased technology integration have paved their way into new work environments. Designing an environment that breeds employee engagement is crucial as culture continues to stay at the forefront.

Healthy Workplace = Happy Workplace

From company workouts to an employee walking challenge for some friendly competition, providing a healthy work environment is a must for all employees. Encouraging healthy behavior in the workplace can reduce absenteeism, lower insurance costs and increase productivity, morale and employee engagement.   

Make your workplace FUN

Work should be challenging, fulfilling and most importantly – FUN! Since you spend a majority of your time working, the environment in which you surround yourself should be fun. From company parties to team building exercises, make sure FUN is in the vocabulary of your office. 

Open Company Culture

Relationships and open communication between company leaders and employees may be more important that you think! According to a survey conducted by 15Five, 81% of employees would rather join a company who values open communication than other benefits. Set the tone in your office by starting at the top. If company leaders take the time to build relationships with employees and model the importance of open communication for all, it can go a long way in enhancing company culture. Whether it’s a small group meeting or a large company function, sharing goals, updates and financial reports with employees it extremely important.

Experts say the workforce will soon be more diverse than ever with blended generations, cultures and ethnicities working side by side, and it’s essential to be in tune of the needs and desires of all employees. Instead of yearly reviews, incorporate quarterly check-ins with team members. Taking time to focus on the “people” that make your company great can increase employee loyalty and can do wonders in enhancing company culture.

As companies strive to increase productivity, sales, revenue and growth, don’t forget the foundation of your business, the DNA of your organization; your company culture.


About Jennifer Smith and Innovative Office Solutions:

Jennifer Smith is Co-Founder and CEO of Innovative Office Solutions. Innovative is an office productivity company with a vision to make businesses more successful by providing offerings including office essentials, cleaning and facility supplies, furniture, Workplace Branding, Kitting & Assembly and Technology. Through Jennifer’s leadership, she has grown Innovative to be the largest independent office products company in the Midwest and one of the largest in the nation.

She has led the organization through consistent double-digit growth while instilling a contagious culture that has been the secret to the Innovative success story. Employees are guided by a shared vision, set of core values and a brand promise that sets the tone for all interactions; and has helped Innovative be named on the “100 Best Companies to Work For” by the Minnesota Business Journal every year since its inception. 

Posted on December 1, 2016 .