Workplace Culture: How to Increase Employee Productivity
Teamwork - It's What We Do
This blog article is not meant to fill space on the internet, it is meant to actually help people who are looking for a way to give their team a boost. We will give real life examples of what we do at Situation Room and insight to our philosophy about the human condition in a place of labor. “Good Culture” in the workplace is seen in organizations with appropriate goal setting and achievement that is regarded collectively as a victory. Culture is by design not by accident.
Running a team building company we often consult with clients on a variety of ways they can improve their staff, business, and improve company culture. A large majority ask about how to get the most out of their most important asset… their people. We get questions about how to facilitate a culture that is fun, cohesive and structured for future success.
Benefits of improving the environment at work include low turnover rate, increased engagement and real friendships. That is to say people feel accountable to one another when they actually get along. Think about it... if you do not function at your highest level you let your friends down not your co-workers. Your squad needs to feel inspired to come to work everyday and give it their all. When your team is engaged, that creates a culture you can be proud of. This concept will trickle down to your financial bottom line as well.
Think of engagement as a way to activate your people. Here is how we do it.
1. Communicate a purpose: Your job as a leader is to inspire. Every new hire at Situation Room sits down with one of our co-founders who will talk with them about how our company started and where we plan to grow in the future. We strive to make meaningful memories that will be shared. To illustrate this I tell a few stories of our customers experiences. I once had a father and daughter come play the escape room and you could tell the parents were going a tough time (maybe divorce?) and the teenage daughter obviously blamed her father showing significant strain in their relationship. However, the experience they had at Situation Room brought them closer together they left laughing and in good spirits. Our game had improved their communication. That day Situation Room was responsible for creating a successful “daddy-daughter-day”. The point is that we bring people together and help them carve out niches in their life story that may not have happened if our services were not available. Our games can be a mechanism for fun, healing, communication and understanding. We do more than entertain. We make memories.
2. Set goals your team wants: A while back we had a goal of increasing our online reviews. Everyone would tell us how great their experience was but we had very few reviews online. We knew that good reviews would increase our exposure to potential customers and drive more business. We told our game masters that our goal was to increase 5 star rated reviews. Rather than telling our game masters what type of reward they would get, we asked them what they would want. We offered ideas like pizza parties, gift cards, ect… Turns out they wanted new chairs for their work stations. This was a good idea because not only could we reward them but we could improve our business assets at the same time. This was a win-win situation. We had our goals and they had theirs. We were able to increase our reviews across multiple platforms and our game masters now run games more comfortably. All of this is to say that you should make sure you check in with your team and see what they would like because setting a goal in this manner will really get your staff engaged in your mission.
3. Take time to appreciate and celebrate: We once set a goal of booking out all our private events for the holiday season and closing every corporate deal that contacted us. One of our amazing game masters stepped up and made this happen. We were really grateful for her hard work. To be a good leader you should learn to show appreciation and celebrate awesome achievements. We knew she was not big into “great job” balloons or certificates of appreciation. So we did what fit our company culture and our employees. We had a “knighting ceremony” (see the picture!) with other employees present and we let her keep the sword to take home and bragg about. Now she has a great personal story to tell and if you see her she will tell you this is the best job she ever had. We not only make memories for our customers but we do it for the team as well.
We spend a lot of time with our work family. It is important that we all get along.
1. Working relationships often translate over to the customer experience: As a boss, owner or human resources officer you should think of yourself as a medical nurse to your company, keeping your fingers on the pulse and hold yourself accountable to knowing the inner workings of your company so you can respond in a timely fashion. We encourage our team to share their passions with one another and with our customers. It is not uncommon to walk into the lobby at Situation Room and hear a game master talking with one of our customers about the character class of their dungeons and dragons identity or about the newest netflix show. Allowing people to show personality strengthens relationships and when your workers have a good time behind the scenes they will also have a good time "on-stage" with your customers. It really does create a welcoming environment.
2. Social activities → Prevent burnout: I saw an infographic once that claimed 10 times as many people leave at year one as would leave at the 5 year mark with a company. Colloquially speaking this seems very well supported based on some of my one on one conversations with other companies who seek a consult from Situation Room. Not all your social activities have to revolve around food or spending a lot of money going out. Being social can happen in a way that strengthens your company too. One year we were making a Halloween attraction. We invited all our staff to come and sit in on the brain storming session (a process that is usually a limited number of participants). Because of this we got to learn new talents we didn’t know some had, we all got to create, laugh and interact in a way that otherwise would not have occured. If your company does have the funding consider taking everyone to an escape room it will be a different way to get creative juices flowing.
3. Do it as a group and if that fails get group swag: From time to time I will gather everyone together and ask them to share the most recent story where they knew their work with Situation Room made a lasting impression in someone’s life. This is something that fits into our company's values and reminds folks of why we strive to make lasting memories for our guest. It shows how their work makes a difference by recognizing their accomplishments and sharing stories of success. Periodically we will also want to remind everyone that we are on the same team. What do teams do? They wear uniforms! We invest in clothing like sweat shirts and beanies to go along with the rest of the work uniform that our game masters would want to wear. This makes a statement about our team and it is free advertising when they wear their cool clothing outside of the workplace. Again a "win-win-situation" occurred
Ihope this brief touch on what we do and why we do it at Situation Room will help you along the way with boosting your company culture. If you have further questions or feel we can help your company’s situation please let us know. We help companies build exception teams through our unique entertainment experiences. We would be happy to consult for your.