75 Great Ideas to Develop a More Inspiring Company Culture
Although Covid-19 brings its share of complications to the world of work, this new reality also forces us to become more creative, to adapt our work methods, and to review the priorities of our organizations. To that end, we called upon esteemed collaborators to share their best advice on how to create a more inspiring company culture. From their collective input, here are 75 ideas to implement within your organization!
1.To establish a climate of trust, move from Command & Control to Communicate & Care. CD
2. Honor your organizational values in each of your strategic decisions. If you do not respect your values, these values do not represent you. It is then time to develop them or find new ones! ML
3. Enhance individual strengths and autonomy within your organization. Avoid micromanagement practices.
4. Manage each new position available as you would a marketing campaign. Content is important, but so is the container and its distribution! ML
5. Highlight employees in the development of your HR marketing tools. For example: create a video honoring the strengths of your team.
6. Set up a referral program. Great employees will attract great employees; they are your best ambassadors!
7. Be transparent about the shortcomings of the company during job interviews. Share an authentic portrait of your organizational culture with candidates. ML
8. Integration: Get inspired by the principles of psychological safety and make sure that everyone feels truly welcomed on the team. AB
9. From HERO TO HERO: celebrate each employee as a hero when they arrive and when they leave. MR
10. Develop a program to celebrate your employees’ birthdays.
11. Celebrate what you want to see repeated in the organization.
12. Highlight achievements – big and small – by offering gifts your employee will love.
13. Create a collective document (virtual or in person) where people document their appreciation for helpful colleagues (i.e. a mural of a tree where people affix sticky notes with recognition messages on its branches). AB
14. At the start of a team meeting, share successes, favorite moments or recognition between colleagues. AB
15. “Hot seat”: in a virtual or in-person team meeting, a team member will find a post-it under their chair. This person receives a testimony or a simple word of recognition from everyone else around the table, while remaining receptive and open. MR
16. Promote the different positions in the company, the interrelation between certain roles, and the impact of each person’s work both on the client and the final result. Short interviews with employees about their role can lead to the creation of insightful content like articles, podcasts, etc. KL
17. Create a program to celebrate years of service anniversaries. PGR
18. Create the BEST program to celebrate years of service anniversaries 😊
19. Create a program to celebrate anniversaries with suppliers and external collaborators (very important to build close relationships with your outside vendors). PRG
20. The wall of victories: set up a wall of big and small victories, personal or professional. Celebrate and recognize each victory. MR
21. Set up “chat rooms” (Teams, Slack) to reduce the number of emails, especially when you only require a short response. EP
22. Ensure weekly communications with each employee and their manager where the latter would ask 3 questions: How are you? What are your challenges this week? How can I help / support you? EP
23. Lunch and learn: offer a 15 to 30 min training session once a week on a topic of interest for your employees. MR
24. For one day, switch roles with a colleague in order to better understand their reality. SB
25. Host bold professional development sessions led by a coach once every 2 weeks on important and promising challenges the business is facing. MR
26. The dialogical walk: to get some fresh air and get to know each other, 2 team members draw an envelope that contains a different topic to discuss on a walk. One person answers the question and the other listens. Reverse roles 20 minutes later. MR
27. Give each manager a “time bank” to reward employees with time off on a discretionary basis.
28. Implement a meditation program. SJ
29. Offer virtual conferences with experts. SJ
30. Offer a budget to provide food recommended by health specialists. SJ
31. Develop a recognition program to reinforce preventive behavior at work (physical and psychological health).
32. Create a sharable trophy that you’ll pass from one team to another according to the criteria of your choice.
33. Set up a digital health program and / or online meditation or yoga classes. CPR
34. Organize a group boxing class. – it’s stimulating, energizing and unifying. SB
35. Provide a workout room and weight training stations on site if possible.
36. Offer a healthy meal delivery service and learning sessions led by a nutritionist.
37. Start a 21-day challenge to take positive actions during employee recognition week (March).
38. Allocate an amount per employee per year for the purchase of company-branded promotional items. It’s good for your employer brand and it increases the feeling of belonging!
39. Set up a corporate cultural library and book club featuring books related to the company’s culture. Build activities with a coach linking these themes. MR
40. Create a culture where we share things that are going well! Whenever we hear someone saying something positive about a co-worker ask, “Did you tell him?” Did you tell your co-worker that you think so highly of him/her? AB
41. Increase interactions to generate more ideas and create a culture based on innovation and collective intelligence. For example, ask employees co-create the meeting agenda. CD
42. Give a “time bank” to each employee to volunteer.
43. Have a common social cause for all employees that the company supports and is actively involved with. SB
44. Family reunion: in order to get to know each other better, each member of the team introduces their family and some fun facts. MR
45. Surprise word: hand-write a personalized card to an employee and send it by mail. Mention a significant gesture or action that they have done recently. MR
46. Create innovation circles / committees to push new ideas forward. SJ
47. Create an Employee Experience Committee to come up with great ideas to develop the team. SJ
48. Build a culture based on interdependence by recognizing the talents of each team member. CD
49. Look for hidden talents and make them shine! Have an employee that’s a talented guitar player? Does another have strong skills as a chef? Is another trilingual? Let’s get them out of the shadows and think about how we can harness these talents and passions for the benefit of colleagues and / or the community. KL
50. For managers: take an interest in and recognize the efforts made by your team members to accommodate their colleagues’ special requests (adjustment of their schedule, personal sacrifice) AB
51. Manage performance gaps and ensure fairness across the team. AB
52. Inquire about each of your employees every morning. If your team is too large, encourage your managers to do so for their team members (virtually or in person). ML
53. Ask your employees each year what training (s) they would need to enhance their knowledge and give them the freedom to make suggestions.
54. Managers: acquire a toolbox to learn how to recognize effectively.
During these extraordinary times, how to improve company culture from home?
55. In this new world, it is essential to be open to new ideas and ways of thinking. You cannot create something new with strategies that belong to the previous world. (Why not use minds who think outside-the-box?) CD
56. Management teams must communicate, communicate and communicate again, ideally on video. Employees must feel the connection and also receive company updates regularly. RCP
57. Go back to your why (why is your company in business?) and think about actions consistent with your brand promise. VM
58. Adjust your expectations for the performance of your organization. Make sure to send a clear message to this effect to all your managers, so that it takes pressure off your employees. VM
59. Define your operating methods as a team to meet your individual needs (meeting schedule, duration, etc.).
60. Review the onboarding process in the current context to ensure there is strong integration within the team, in addition to quality training. Create integration rallies that allow new employees to envision their future by seeing the different stages of the employee experience. EP
61. Create humorous videos to describe the family confinement situation. SJ
62. Create themes for remote meetings (i.e. everyone dresses up to match their Zoom background). SR
63. Increase schedule flexibility to support the reality of each individual (i.e. some start early in the morning to finish at noon so that the spouse can work in the afternoon). EP
64. Encourage working in dyads to break the isolation. EP
65. Offer an online consultation with an ergonomist to ensure that our “home” setup is healthy and safe. RCP
66. Create virtual social activities (i.e. organize an online happy hour, share a midday meal and have lunch delivered to employee’s homes). EP
67. Develop a social recognition platform to increase peer recognition and reduce the perceived distance between people.
68. Organize a team meal and offer a budget to each employee that they must use at a locally-owned restaurant owned in their neighborhood. RCP
69. Create a communication channel for discussions not related to work: a place to connect, have fun and share tips and ideas to pass the time! RCP
70. Buy reusable masks for employees and their families. CPR
71. Distance using plants strategically placed in the office. SR
72. Adapt your rituals to a digital format. For example, if you order pizza on Fridays at lunch, organize a pizza Friday via videoconference. VM
73. Train and equip managers on how to mobilize their team. RCP
74.Host monthly or quarterly virtual meetings with special guests. (i.e. an artist who answers\ special requests live from his studio or a mixologist who shows everyone how to create their own cocktail from ingredients announced before the activity. KL
75. Do a post-mortem session on what has worked well (and not so well) since the start of WFH. RCP
Many thanks to our valued collaborators and experts for their insight on how to improve company culture!
Annie Boilard –Awakener of high performing teams and leadership channeller.
Sylvain Boudreau – Sympathetic and professional speaker for 25 years and creator of the “Me inc.” concept.
Chantal Dauray – Creator of connections. Chantal supports companies in the art of tattooing the feeling of belonging through “tribal” communications, inspired by her conference The Corporate Tribe. She is the author of the book Reinvent your Ceremonies, Parties and Rituals! (Stanké) and the Celebrate!collection (Publistar).
Pascale Gravel-Richard – Consultant in creative mobilization, with more than 25 years of international experience in participatory creative processes to strengthen the feeling of belongingness, commitment and behavioral change, both in person and at a distance.
Shawn Johal – Certified Scaling Up Coach currently working with several entrepreneurs and their businesses to help them accelerate their growth, while finding their personal balance and happiness.
Karina Lehoux – Professional master of ceremony in the corporate environment. Karina is the founder and president of the firm Eklosion – Professional host, specializing in the curation and hosting of conferences and congresses, recognition activities, awards and galas – in person, virtually or in a hybrid format.
Marianne Lemay – President and founder of Kolegz, a firm specializing in human resource innovation. Her mission? To link HR, marketing & technology.
Vincent Mazrou – Founder of AttribuI. Creator of a human employer brand.
Renée-Claude Paris – Passionate about supporting leaders and companies who want to build work environments where performance, innovation and employee mobilization coexist!
Emilie Pelletier – Passionate about HR Marketing, people are at the heart of all her actions. She is also a co-founder of HRM Group and the e-magazine FacteurH.
Serena Rampa – Serena is the Marketing Coordinator for Flow, the first flexible job search site in Quebec.
Marco Roy – Founder of Stage 21 and a professional coach and catalyst, he supports entrepreneurs and management committees in creating a climate of trust and authenticity.
De l’équipe Altrum reconnaissance :
Annie Breton, CRP – Helping our customers make the right choices, always thinking “outside the box” and developing lasting relationships is what fuels Annie!
Julie Lajoie, CHRA – Passionate about creating and implementing initiatives that make a real difference in organization. The consideration and motivation of employees are at the heart of her priorities.
Anne Legault, CRP – Dedicated to helping companies develop a culture of recognition that yields concrete results around loyalty and the mobilization of human resources.