A company’s work culture is essentially the personality of the organization. As I wrote about in my previous article “What All Successful Startups Have in Common,” culture is how employees interact with each other and clients within the business environment. Values, ethics, mission, expectations, communication, collaboration and atmosphere are all things that make up a company culture.
Given that the average person spends one-third of their lives at work, employee satisfaction and company moral is important for the overall success of your business. A good work environment creates employee satisfaction which leads to loyalty, dedication, increased productivity and improved quality of work.
As an entrepreneur or business owner, thinking of ways to improve productivity is always top-of-mind. Operating at maximum efficiency is the goal, but it can get it tricky to keep the momentum going as teams expand and company’s grow.
I have started many companies throughout my career, and a positive, encouraging company culture is always something I always prioritize. My current company KERV Interactive, a multi-award-winning interactive video company in Austin, Texas, is successful not only because of the outstanding, patented video technology, but is set apart by the employees that are fueled by a common passion where company success is linked to personal success.
KERV’s company culture was built on three core principles: effective communication, mutual accountability and mutual respect. In a positive work environment, employees should feel encouraged to get to know team members and colleagues. When people get to know each other, it creates better work flow and allows individuals to feel more comfortable to ask questions and share ideas. Positive and inclusive work spaces encourage collaboration, creativity and innovation.
Here are some factors that can contribute to a great work environment:
When setting the tone for your organization, try to put yourself in your team’s shoes. If you’re a leader that people look forward to working with each day, you’re on the right track to success. Having a positive outlook is contagious, and your team will follow the energy of the office. I like to fuel the KERV office with positive reinforcement, reminding everyone how far we have come as a company and focusing on highlighting successes and achievements.
Open communication and transparency establish trust, and greatly contributes to any organization. The energy at KERV is great – you can walk down the hall and talk to anyone. Leadership is accessible, questions are encouraged, and everyone works together toward common goals.
A few fun things KERV offers to promote team-building among employees is monthly potlucks, ping pong tournaments, daily food trucks, philanthropy outings and an open workspace.
KERV doesn’t have your typical 9-to-5 schedule – employees have flexibility to maintain a happy work-life balance which significantly reduces workplace stress. Based on a core principle of mutual accountability, each person is trusted and respected to be accountable for their work.
At KERV, each employee has a standup desk, healthy snacks are stocked weekly in the kitchen, ping pong breaks are encouraged, and our office is located near many walkable shops and restaurants.
Appreciation and recognition.
Highlighting employee successes and focusing on company “wins” creates excitement among teams and encourages individual development. When people feel a sense of pride, they invest in their future in the organization and work hard to create other opportunities for success. Recognizing the value of hard work fuels team members to want to continue achieving greatness.
Many forward-thinking companies have implemented pet-friendly policies in their offices. Austin, Texas has the third-highest rate of pet ownership in the United States, so it’s common to see our KERV office dog Macho sitting in a meeting from time to time.
Jon Flatt is the CEO of KERV Interactive, which produces award-winning interactive video technology that is revolutionizing visual storytelling for brands and advertisers. Before KERV, he was CEO and founder of Red McCombs Media, which was acquired by LIN Media.