There’s a general consensus in society, as well as home decor, that it’s the little things in life that matter the most. Enjoy the little pleasures. Appreciate the small moments. All that jazz.
For all the effort we put into trying to focus on the little things in life, this idea rarely translates over into the HR world, particularly when it comes to instilling the company culture that you want.
When companies sit down to think about their culture and how they can bring their visions to fruition, it’s easy to think big. Maybe you want to have the same innovative culture as Pixar so you start to think of a whole room dedicated to building and ideating; maybe you want to have a fun culture like Google so you start to think of the possibilities of putting a basketball court in the back office that nobody uses anyways.
The problem is, when you start thinking this big, you dig yourself into a hole that you’re never going to build yourself (or your culture) out of.
So what’s the solution? First, identify the root of the problem. Sure, it’s a problem that you’re thinking too big, but why are you thinking too big? It’s pretty simple: it’s easier to think big. Think of it like this: your culture is a big empty box of an idea that you can fill whatever you want with. What’s easier—thinking of lots of little pieces to fill that box, or one big thing? Obviously one big thing would be easier for you to think about—one and done. But it’s harder to complete and complete well, so most of the time you’ll be left with an empty box.
Instead, start narrowing your thinking into smaller segments.
Do This, Not That
Below are a few common culture trends that you can think little on:
- Creating a culture of creativity: You don’t need to give your employees a full day of playing brain games once a month or spend thousands on installing an art board. Grab a bucket of chalkboard paint and do up a wall for your employees to release some creativity onto; encourage your team members to express themselves by decorating their desks and giving out a quarterly recognition for who has the coolest desk.
- Creating a culture of cool: Yeah, everyone wishes they could have hammocks in the office or give your employees a free iPad just to have the “cool” Apple logo floating around, but those are expensive and not practical ways. Instead, have your office manager or anyone of that caliber spend some time heading to Pinterest for some DIY projects. You can even get employees involved to up the engagement.
- Creating a culture of recognition: Giving your top employees a voucher for a weeklong cruise is easy to do, but it’s not practical. Rather, put in the extra little bit of effort to get your employees together once a month and just give a shoutout to those who are excelling. Our company has recently kicked this kind of recognition back into gear—it takes a certain amount of effort but the small gesture puts everyone in high spirits.
Culture is a hard thing to develop, but it’s even harder if you give yourself unattainable goals, even if they seem like a one-stop fix-it-all solution. As a company, start putting in the extra thought to find unique, small ways of building the culture you want. Your accounting department will thank you for it, and your employees will feel like the culture is really there in an authentic way. It’s the little things in life, and the little things around the office that matter the most.