Close Knit Culture…During a Crisis?

Close Knit Culture

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Whether you’re in a business with 5 employees or 5,000, a close knit company culture is key to long-term employee loyalty. True, things change as the people change-new people come in, the company grows, etc. but overall, the goal is to bond everyone as a unit. A family, if you will. It’s all about relationships that foster great communication, a willingness to share ideas and a sense of community.

Turnover is high in creative and tech organization, especially. That’s why creating a company culture of support, authenticity and trust is key to retaining talent.

Here are four ideas management can implement to help facilitate a company culture that rocks their relationships:

1-Since Valentine’s Day is coming up…..make a “Palentine’s Day Secret Gift” giving lunch.  Like a Secret Santa, but with chocolates and appreciative notes and positive vibes sort of thing.  Or have each person leave their Palentine a note of encouragement every morning next week.  It’s a great way to have a close-knit atmosphere.  Give a prize for the “sweetest” one…and for the most obnoxious one! 

Going forward:

2-At the start of every week, everyone shares what they did that weekend. Whether it’s posting photos of you and your dog romping at the beach on the company intranet, sharing selfies from that hot new bar that just opened on the company Snapchat or Instagram feed, or pics from vacation tacked up on the wall, sharing allows everyone to get a glimpse into the lives of their workmates. This will start conversations and questions about their experiences. Everyone will feel a tad bit closer to their office buddies.

3-Ask what everyone is reading now. Granted, not everyone is a big reader. Some may just read magazines, others are voracious readers, working on 2-3 books at a time. The cool thing about this is that two people from totally different departments may find themselves with commonalities. They may both like biographies or graphic novels. People will get recommendations for books on travel or a fun fiction book they’d never heard of! It’s a really fun way to bring people together who would normally not have a lot of interaction.

4-Lucky-6 lunches. If your company is large enough (if it’s on the smaller size, do a lucky-3), randomly pick 6 people to have lunch with a C-level executive once or twice a month. Think this can’t be executed until post-pandemic? WRONG – They are easier than ever, all you need is Zoom & a GrubHub Gift Card emailed to the lucky 6! Even if you have to go old school and literally pick names out of a hat. Really. There’s only one rule-NO TALKING ABOUT WORK. This is all about getting to know people as people. You’ll find the conversations are as varied as each one’s lifestyle and who knows what innovative idea or collaboration may come out of it? It’s also nice just to have a face to face conversation. No cell phones at the table, either. Distracting and rude.

Little things mean a lot. Learning fun facts about fellow employees keeps the mood lighter, more positive and much more fun and friendly. How can they NOT be productive and happy when they feel like their company cares for them? What fun things do YOU do to keep your employees engaged? Share them in the comments below….

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