How can a company turn an average culture into a great one?
Commercial real estate companies often boast that a strong workplace culture leads to an increase in productivity and top talent recruitment. Content with an average culture, many companies, however, get stuck in their desire to become great.
Companies develop plans designed to drive their employees through company initiatives and events that ultimately fall short of the demands of today's workforce. For example, the move toward more open and flexible work areas recently has been implemented widely nationwide. Unfortunately, this creative workspace movement disregards the interest of those who desire or are accustomed to designated office spaces, which are not necessarily spaces with walls but more enclosed spaces.
This is one sign that companies often are reactive rather than proactive. There is a need to be great, yet average seems to be the status quo.
In an increasingly collaborative corporate environment, culture is undoubtedly a driving force in the quest to be great, but how is that defined? When team members enjoy an atmosphere in which they know they are part of something with a purpose and vision, they work more confidently and efficiently, and deliver more success for the team, the company, and themselves.
Furthermore, when employees are given opportunities and encouraged to advance, they feel valued. A company with a valued workforce, committed to both the company and their personal success, will attract similarly strong talent, as well as ensuring company loyalty.
The change in current workplace demands is due in large part to the increasing influence of millennials. However, many of the plans designed to attract millennials fall short in attracting and retaining more experienced talent.
These differing preferences present an opportunity for leadership to develop a unique workplace community that reflects a company's culture, such as combining open workspaces with traditional office space elements and creating a comfortable mix for a diverse workforce. Phone rooms and small conference rooms also can form places for collaboration, while not impeding on personal workspace.
In addition to cultivating a great culture through well-orchestrated team-building efforts to recruit and retain top performers, companies also can use the surrounding environment to align with the desired culture. For instance, a company that wishes to encourage a playful, collaborative culture in which all ideas are welcome might select a location where staff can meet after work to socialize or even form a trivia team. Or a leader that wants to grow a strong corporate fitness program might choose an office with a fitness center or within walking distance of a park.
To further enhance cultures that permeate from the inside out, commercial real estate professionals can help good companies use their real estate space to help them become great. Commercial developers offer properties and layouts that encourage companies to find the right location and environment for their culture to thrive.
Owners and their representatives can offer curated environments - for example, compatible tenant mixes, creative building events, useful speakers, and attractive amenities - to draw businesses and give them a sense of community and belonging. When companies can integrate their office space to align with and support their desired culture, the company's culture becomes stronger, and employees are more loyal and productive.
Commercial real estate organizations can effectively assist companies in all industries to promote their internal cultures through curated physical environments that increase satisfaction across all organizational levels, including millennials, executive leadership, and clients. When the desired culture of a company is closely aligned with the look and feel of the workplace, a clear company vision is presented to workers and clients. This is a powerful tool for talent recruitment, satisfaction, and retention.
When employees understand the larger vision of a company and feel like integral members of a team, they will work to drive that company toward greatness. And who doesn't want to be great?